Residents of old age home see clearly

Doctor and Empowerment Trust team up to help the aged regain their sight

Optometrists have long encouraged older people to have their eyes tested regularly but most can not afford to do so.  However, for the residents of Vosloorus Old Age Home, Kwa Thema Old Age Home and San Michelle outside help is now at hand.

Afrisun Trust, the empowerment partner of Carnival City Casino, has embarked on a project to give back sight to the aged.  Over the past month, Dr Patrick Mncube visited the home to give free eye tests to the residents, who will formally receive their new glasses from 28 June.

Dr Mncube said “many visual problems can be better detected and treated with regular eye tests, and our aim with this project is to improve the quality of life for our elderly folk.”

Most of the elderly occupants of the home have had to rely on very old spectacles which no longer offer clear vision, impacting not only on joys such as reading or watching TV, but leading to unnecessary falls.  A recent study in the UK has shown that poor eyesight leads to loss of confidence and many falls among older people.

According to Sandy Hattingh, CEO of Afrisun Trust, “Dr Mncube first contacted us when the Pieter Wessels home in Nigel burnt down in 2010.  He offered residents eye tests and replaced the glasses they lost in the fire with new ones.  In so doing, he discovered that many had not had eye tests in years, and their eyesight had deteriorated beyond the capacity of their existing glasses.”

Every four months, Dr Mncube will visit another old age home in Ekurhuleni.  During each visit, Afrisun will also supply residents with refreshments and sweet treats.  Only those residents who are not members of medical aids will be tested.