Identification of deafblind dual sensory impairment in older people

This briefing focuses on issues relating to the identification of people over the age of 60 in the UK who have dual sensory loss in the form of a combined hearing and sight impairment (deafblind). It is intended to raise awareness among people in contact with the elderly who do not have technical knowledge of deafblindness.

Key messages

  • Rising life expectancy and increasing numbers of older people in the population means a growing number of individuals are affected by dual sensory impairment.
  • Raising general awareness of problems and potential solutions is essential to maximising individual quality of life and minimising social isolation.
  • Dual sensory impairment in older people may be seen as 'normal’ and not identified as problematic or as a disability.
  • Simple interventions, such as ensuring regular sight and hearing checks or holding conversations in well-lit areas, can be very effective in improving the quality of life of people with dual sensory impairment,
  • Families, carers and other 'non-specialists’ can play a crucial role in early identification, hopefully leading to appropriate and timely interventions.

Date: 01/08/2007
Author: Diane Roberts, Thomas Scharf, Miriam Bernard and Peter Crome
Organization: SCIE - Social Care Institute for Excellence
Only for Members: No
Content type: Good practises
Tags: adults, best practices, deafblindness, health, quality of life
Categories: Overall support