Sensory impairment and care

Sensory impairment most commonly refers to sight or hearing loss. It includes combined sight and hearing loss, which is frequently referred to as dual sensory impairment or deafblindness.

 

Individuals with Learning Disabilities

Pride & Dignity Care offers practical and emotional support with daily activities, help with learning and stimulation to enable the individual to develop and sustain abilities to improve their quality of life. Our staff receive training to meet these very individual needs which can range from financial management, management of medication, practical skills such as meal preparation to challenging behaviour.

There is an increased prevalence of Sensory Impairments within the learning disabilities population.

It has been demonstrated that visual and hearing impairments are frequently unrecognised and under reported.

People with limited verbal communication skills may have difficulty in conveying deterioration in hearing or vision and be unable to know of any benefit from improvement.

It is good practice therefore to assess vision and hearing in persons with a learning disability.

Trained staff

This refers to staff who have been trained to recognise and record the symptoms and signs of sensory impairment when caring for older people. Staff should be aware that there are many different types of sight and hearing loss, with a large variation in the degree of impairment. Staff should also be competent in recognising when older people need a referral for assessment and management of the sensory impairment.

Equality and diversity considerations

Sensory impairment is common in older people. It is frequently perceived as an expected feature of ageing rather than as potentially disabling. It is important that sensory impairment is not considered as acceptable for older people in care homes. This may need to be emphasised during training to increase awareness and recognition of sensory impairments.

When looking for signs or symptoms of sensory impairment, be aware of any learning disabilities, acquired cognitive impairments, communication and language barriers, and cultural differences. Staff should ensure that they are aware of the needs and preferences of older people who are approaching the end of their life

It is important that staff are aware that older people in care homes have the same right to access healthcare as people living independently in the community. This is stated in the NHS Constitution.