The Iemma Government will provide a one-off grant of $25,000 to the Macular Degeneration Foundation to develop a booklet on macular degeneration.
NSW Minister for Ageing Kristina Keneally said that the booklet which will be titled “Family, Friend and Carers – A Guide” will provide valuable information for family, friends and carers of people affected by blindness and vision loss.
“Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in Australia, and currently one in seven Australians over the age of 50 is affected by macular degeneration.
“The number of Australians over 65 is expected to double in the next 40 years and we need to ensure we are planning now to meet the needs of this population.
“That is why it is important that we provide these people and their families carers with access to information about what expect and what services are available.”
Ms Keneally said we know that people diagnosed with macular degeneration who are facing the threat of blindness have shown an increase in depression, social isolation and social dependency.
“That is why it is important that they have access to information to help them stay connected with their local community,” Ms Keneally said.
“The Iemma Government is committed to breaking down the social barriers created by vision impairment by giving people greater independence and decreasing their feelings of isolation.”
Ms Keneally said that the Macular Degeneration Foundation are a national organisation that work to reduce the incidence and impact of macular degeneration in Australia.
“The Foundation is to be congratulated for the work they do in improving the lives of people affected by blindness and vision loss,” Ms Keneally said.
7 January 2008