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Illinois College of Optometry Announces the Alfred and Sarah Rosenbloom Center on Vision and Aging

CHICAGO ­— The Illinois College of Optometry is proud to announce the founding of the Alfred and Sarah Rosenbloom Center on Vision and Aging, a new facility devoted to the vision care needs of the aging population.

The Center, located within the Illinois Eye Institute on the ICO campus, will ultimately have four essential functions: to promote optometry students’ and practitioners’ increased knowledge and understanding of the inter-relatedness of aging and vision care; to provide vision care, counseling and support services for older adults and underserved communities in and around Chicago; to develop ongoing relationships with selected geriatric care facilities in the Chicago area for education and patient care services; and to sponsor vision-related geriatric research.

“The over-8o population is growing four times faster than any other segment of the population,” Dr. Rosenbloom says. “ICO’s reputation in terms of current and future education offers the opportunity to elevate standards and raise awareness for providing professional vision care to this age group. This may lead in time to the development of a Geriatric Care Patient Service Model, including care for many underserved individuals in assisted living facilities and in nursing homes.”

The Center honors Dr. Alfred Rosenbloom and his wife, Sarah. Dr. Rosenbloom served as dean of ICO from 1955 to 1972, president from 1972 to 1982, and remains a distinguished professor emeritus. He was inducted into the National Optometry Hall of Fame in 2010, and continues to be a leader in the optometric profession.

ICO President Arol Augsburger, OD, says the Rosenbloom Center is an exciting addition to the school. “To have a prominent ICO alumnus and his wife–and a former president of ICO–make such a significant leadership gift to ICO is transforming for the institution,” he says. “ICO will soon be the only optometric institution with a Center on Vision and Aging. This will emphasize and highlight our leadership position in optometry!”

An estimated 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older have a severe visual impairment. The rate of severe vision loss will double by 2030, mirroring the increase in the number of people 65 and older. Adverse effects of vision loss include an increased risk of falls and fractures; depression; and difficulty with such daily tasks as identifying medications, bathing and dressing.

About the Illinois College of Optometry The Illinois College of Optometry (ICO), founded in 1872 by Dr. Henry Olin, provides excellence in optometric clinical education and is one of the world’s leading optometric institutions. ICO offers aspiring optometrists the education and experience needed to meet the challenges of a changing health care environment and become leaders who will champion for patients and the profession alike. Located in Chicago, ICO has a long and distinguished legacy as the oldest continually operating educational facility in the world dedicated solely to the teaching of optometrists.

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