Choosing Stylish & Functional Eyeglasses for Today’s Seniors


As we age, our eyesight naturally begins to change, and many older adults find themselves in need of glasses to correct their vision. However, choosing the right glasses is a big decision, especially if you’re not sure what will look best on you.

To help you find glasses that are both functional and fashionable, we asked Kelly Baker, a Canadian Certified Optometric Assistant (CCOA) in Winnipeg, Manitoba for assistance.

The underlying theme that the vision specialist hears repeatedly from mature customers is, “I do not want to look old”.

While many older adults might prioritize choosing glasses that make them look youthful, it’s also important to find a frame that can accommodates all their vision needs.  Thankfully, for the many people needing multifocal lenses, modern frame styles take this into account.

Tips For Choosing Glasses That Make You Look Younger

A fresh eyewear style can provide a more youthful appearance to women and men alike. To transform and enhance your look, instantly, consider shape and colour.

1. Cat-Eye

“I love cat-eye frames! They are a timeless classic that are different and stylish! They were even in style when I was growing up!” – Anne

Reminiscent of the eyewear worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1950s, these frames are also a great choice for those with angular or square-shaped faces, as they help to soften the lines of your face while simultaneously placing the focus on your eyes.

“Most ladies benefit from a slight upsweep at the corners (inspired by cat-eye frames),” says Baker.  In fact, both men and women should avoid glasses with a downward sweep, like aviator style glasses, as it might create an illusion of a sagging face.

2. Thick Rimmed

These glasses are versatile and never go out of style.  Thick-rimmed glasses draw the eye and can help accentuate your best features. Larger, bolder frames can also hide bags and crow’s feet under and around the eyes. Conversely, rimless glasses will make them more obvious.

3. Colour

Using colour on a frame can be helpful as it adds to the youthful appearance of your frames.  Baker recommends frames that have an ombre affect – either vertically or horizontally.

She explains that a vertical ombre can “trick the eye” by pulling narrow set eyes further apart.  Meanwhile, horizontal ombre – with a darker colour along the top of the frames – can diminish the appearance of under eye puffiness by drawing attention to the upper eye area.

Tortoiseshell glasses frames are also an excellent way to bring natural warmth to your complexion.

How To Choose the Right Glasses for Seniors

No matter what style you choose, it’s important to find a pair of glasses that are comfortable and functional, as well as flattering.  Before you head out to buy new eyeglasses, take some time to consider the following:

1. Face Shape

Your face shape matters when picking eyeglasses for seniors. There are different types of face shapes namely: oval, heart, round, square, or oblong.  Not all eyeglasses will fit your face shape, so take the time to pick one that aligns with your facial structure.  Your local optometrist or optometric assistant can help you choose the best eyeglasses for your face shape.

According to Baker and her team, there have always been rules about frame shape, but there are other factors to be considered. Facial features like the size and shape of a person’s nose and the distance between the eyes are also important to ensure the frame is comfortable.

2. Bridge Placement

“I just got my glasses a few months ago, do I look good? I think I am fashionable!” – Rock

What is the bridge on glasses? A bridge is the part of the frame between the lenses, which sits on the nose. It supports most of the weight of the eyewear. A bridge that is too big or too small is uncomfortable and changes the look of your glasses.

“Having a bridge too high can elongate the nose,” Baker explains. “There is a style of bridge called a keyhole (looks like an old-fashioned keyhole) that has to be fit very carefully or it can accentuate the size of the nose.” Seniors want to look for a bridge placement on a frame that runs across the natural bridge on the face.

3. Frame Size

The right size is one that is not too tight or too loose. Avoid frames that easily slip off your face.

As we age, we develop presbyopia, the inability to focus on close objects. While very small frame shapes are fine for distance glasses or dedicated reading glasses, they don’t leave much room for line bifocals or progressive lenses.

Another consideration for seniors choosing frames is to ensure that the fit at the temples does not interfere with hearing aids: a thinner temple end is easier to maneuver under a hearing aid. Your optician will be able to help you with size choices.

4. Ease of Handling

One of the considerations for older adults that Baker suggests is flex-hinge frames. “Sometimes the mature adult has mobility or range of motion challenges, so we recommend a frame with a flex-hinge to allow ease of use,” she says. “The nice thing is that their style will not be affected by this suggestion.”

Also known as spring hinges, these are hinges built for use. They are constructed in a way that allows the arms of your eyewear to move more than the traditional 90-degree angle. Not only are they flexible, but also provide greater comfort to the wearer.

It’s important that seniors feel attractive in their eyewear, and that they have easy access to an optician.  That is why All Seniors Care build retirement homes in Winnipeg and senior homes in Regina close to optical stores and other amenities like medical centres or dentist offices.   Contact us today to tour one a residence near you and find out how we support our residents so that they can live – and feel – their best.


Writer  – Julianna McLeod

Julianna is a health and wellness expert at All Seniors Care. Her mission is to create content that empowers seniors to form sustainable solutions for lasting health and happiness. She is an experienced writer, editor, and Recreational Therapist living in Toronto.

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