Aging Well: free senior eye exams at Project Vision Hawaii
You may have heard that falls can be deadly for seniors, but did you know that poor eyesight can lead to falls? That's why a non-profit called Project Vision Hawaii has a free program targeted at seniors.
HONOLULU - You may have heard that falls can be deadly for seniors, but did you know that poor eyesight can lead to falls? That's why a non-profit called Project Vision Hawaii has a free program targeted at seniors.
This is not your usual doctor's office. It's an RV outfitted with medical equipment, to give out free eye exams.
Anne Chipchase is a customer today. "I am a kupuna and falls can be deadly. One of the things about falls is, you have to check your eyes," she says, explaining that she has fallen a few times recently.
Now, she says it's better to be safe than sorry. "Without my vision, I might be not even half a person, but a quarter of the person I am," she feels.
She's one of about 1,300 seniors a year who come to the Project Vision Hawaii van. Executive Director Annie Valentin says, "Project Vision Hawaii provides mobile health and human services statewide."
The staff checks for diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts. Everything Project Vision Hawaii does is for free. It even gives away over-the-counter reading glasses if you need it.
If you can't get out, Project Vision comes to you. Valentin says, "We go to senior centers and places seniors gather, so we can meet them where they're at and make the services most convenient."
People like Chipchase are grateful that a small service can make a big difference in their lives. Her clean bill of health today means she won't fall because of poor eyesight. Chipchase says, "I don't want to be a burden to anybody. It allows me to know I can keep going."
That's just the response that Project Vision wants to "see". Valentin shares, "We want to provide the education and screening necessary so we can educate seniors how to prevent falls." Her "vision" is to help seniors live longer, healthier lives.
More on Project Vision Hawaii at http://www.projectvisionhawaii.org/.