- AMD is a leading cause of permanent blindness among adults and is associated with depression and loneliness, affecting approximately 200 million people worldwide.
- Early and late-stage AMD can be diagnosed, and adopting healthy lifestyle habits can help prevent further vision problems and reduce depression and loneliness.
- The MINGLE program, developed by a team led by Richard Kha, is a 10-week remote lifestyle intervention aimed at improving the health of older adults with AMD, both physically and socially.
- Previous research has shown that treatments and lifestyle changes, such as self-management programs, group activities, quitting smoking, adopting a Mediterranean diet, and increasing physical activity, can reduce depression, loneliness, and the onset/progression of AMD.
- Enablers for participating in the MINGLE program include the opportunity to meet new people, learn about AMD, motivation to improve health, program accessibility, and its cost-free nature, while barriers included time constraints, access to technology, lack of knowledge about lifestyle risk factors, vision and mobility limitations, and negative views on social group interactions.