Ron Tustin is a Kapiti Glaucoma group facilitator and hosts a programme on Access Radio on tips when planning retirement.  He is well qualified in both roles, having previously worked as a tutor and coach in retirement planning and public health prevention, encouraging people to manage their health through good nutrition, exercise, and awareness of early warning signs.

Ron advises how this period in our lives has changed radically since when our parents retired. We will likely have about a third of our lives in this period, likely to be much healthier and want to continue contributing. We all need something for which we will jump out of bed in the mornings.

Thinking carefully about what we want to do and how we balance our time among work, play, and family/friends becomes very important.

He kindly shares his journey with glaucoma with us and what makes him jump out of bed to remain actively engaged in his community and family life.

My only prior knowledge of glaucoma, apart from my mother living with it, was that I had been given glaucoma screening tests whenever I had been for an eye test. However, in 2019 I started to notice floaters. After a thorough test, the optometrist referred me to the public hospital for an acute appointment as he detected glaucoma needing urgent attention. Unfortunately, as we headed into Covid, that appointment did not happen for three months.

The optometrist showed me the field test to explain what was happening with my peripheral vision. He also discussed the prognosis, and I felt reassured that if I kept to the treatment regime, I could control the disease.

I advise others newly diagnosed with glaucoma to seek information on evidence-based websites like Glaucoma New Zealand. Talk to friends and family about it and to others who have been diagnosed with eye disease. Join a support group!

We are fortunate in Kapiti to have three coordinators for our local glaucoma group. Carole organises the room, while Tony and I act like a ‘tag team’ facilitating meetings. I find it helpful to understand facilitation and being aware of how important it is to allow everyone to share stories and learn from each other.

I am a keen photographer, and although having glaucoma means I need to concentrate a little more on close-up work to have a well-focussed viewfinder, I still enjoy this hobby considerably.

As I spend much time giving others advice, I now know that with our life experiences, we can get the best advice from ourselves.  As my daughter sometimes says, “What Dad does is not necessarily the same as what he says!”

Bring your friend and family to join us at the Kapiti Glaucoma Group meets at Kapiti Village on the last Friday of alternate months.

See our website for details of our regional support group meetings. Or call Glaucoma NZ on 0800 452 862.

Follow Ron’s facebook page– Revive And Thrive Channel, and listen to his show at

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