We have experienced one of the hottest summers in history and now as we enter October, the nights are drawing in and the temperature is getting cooler. It now won’t be long before we are having to put the heating on and brace ourselves in the cold and wintery conditions on our daily commute and everyday activities. Take a moment to think about the elderly who may live on their own and have limited mobility. A trip outside to the shops in the winter and snow may not seem too difficult for most of us, but anyone who has a physical disability or impaired mobility, such a task is very daunting and possibly dangerous.
With the NHS reporting an increase of admissions to A and E as a result of falls in the winter, it is understandable how many would be hesitant in going out to have their eyes tested. If a problem with their eyes or vision occurred suddenly, many would worry how they would get to someone to check their eyes. Some people may be fortunate to live near relatives or friends who are able to take them to the opticians, however some may not live near relatives or have anyone who are able to help them. I have spoken to a few patients who explain they feel almost like a burden and would rather not inconvenience anyone. Often many will suffer in silence, but as with any medical condition, the earlier things are detected, the better outcome it can be.
For friends and relatives who work full time they may struggle to get the time off to take their elderly relatives to various health care appointments especially if they have numerous conditions. Sometimes the physical difficulty, tiredness and subsequent stress may be too much for some for both the patient and their carer or relative.
Fortunately there is a solution! Did you know that you can have your eye test done in the comfort of your home if you have any condition that limits your ability to go to an optician unassisted? You can get an NHS eye test at home for free if you qualify for an NHS eye test. Below is a list of who is able to get an NHS eye test.
You qualify for a free NHS funded sight test if:
Ann Hamilton (left) and Stephanie Lipsey-Liu (right) Freedom Eyecare Nottingham's home visiting optometrists.
Stephanie and I created Freedom Eyecare Nottingham, a home visiting opticians service. We are based in Nottingham and we cover all of Nottinghamshire. Set up by myself and Stephanie, we are both optometrists who have worked in hospitals, high street and independent practices who love doing what we do. My late grandma was the reason why I wanted to provide domiciliary eye care. She was house bound in the last four years of her life, but she valued her vision greatly. Although she wasn’t able to get out, she still enjoyed the everyday activities such as watching TV, reading a book and bird watching. It also enabled her to maintain a sense of independence. That is the most important and rewarding part of our job, helping people see better to enjoy life.
The eye test is just like at the opticians (including the ‘puffy eye machine!’). We perform a full and comprehensive eye examination including the glaucoma check. We also bring glasses should you need to change them, our range vary from free NHS ones to designer glasses. We believe in quality and affordability and have a great range of glasses to choose from, we never pressure sell as we never take any money up front, unless you wish to leave deposit and allow a cooling off period should you change your mind. A summary of the order is given at the end of the eye test so the customer knows what they have ordered and that is often required if there is a power of attorney.
We do understand there can be times where the patient needs to be referred for treatment and we are able to refer just like a in-store optician for treatment such as cataracts and wet macular degeneration. For people who are sight-impaired we also provide free low vision assessments and have a wide range of magnifiers and adjustable lighting.
Essentially, we provide a complete eye care service at the comfort of your home. Not surprisingly, not many people are aware that such NHS services exist! If you know anyone who would benefit from having an eye test at the comfort of their own home, please visit www.freedomeyecare.co.uk or call 0115 7866320.