Dementia and sight loss: promoting good eye health

Social care professional with arm around ladyWith 250,000 people living with dementia and sight loss in the UK, RNIB believes it is extremely important to promote good eye health and to highlight the benefits of regular sight tests.

A recent study revealed that:
  • the prevalence of sight loss in people with dementia is higher than the overall population, and
  • almost 50 per cent of those with sight loss were no longer classified as visually impaired when wearing the correctly prescribed glasses.
We recommend that people have regular eye tests to check their vision and eye health. Eye tests are especially important for people with dementia because the symptoms of dementia might mask the symptoms of sight loss. As part of your role you may promote access to eye care services. This leaflet has been created to support individuals with dementia and their carers to feel more confident when accessing eye care services:
 

Download dementia leaflet (Accessible PDF,  218KB)

 

At RNIB, we want to improve eye health across the country. We have lots of great resources for people with dementia and sight loss, families and carers as well as professionals. Please share this page with anyone who you think might find it useful (www.rnib.org.uk/dementia).

Top tip cards

We have some handy top tips to help you support people living with dementia and sight loss.

Dementia and Sight Loss Interest Committee

In 2008, the Dementia and Sight Loss Interest Committee was set up as part of VISION 2020 UK to develop and promote better understanding of the issues facing people affected by dementia and sight loss.
 
Below is a number of factsheets they have produced that are useful for people with dementia, their families, carers and professionals.
If you would like to join the online Group, please create an account and register on VISION 2020 UK’s website.
 

Social care dementia gateway

If you work with people with dementia in nursing, residential or domiciliary settings, you may find the Social Care Institute for Excellence’s Dementia gateway useful (it includes a section on Dementia and sight loss). There are lots of practical tips, tools and activities that will help you with your daily work. Each section has been written by a national dementia expert, so you can be sure the information and guidance is up to date and reflects best practices in dementia care.
 

Other useful factsheets

These good practice guidelines are to maximise the potential of everyday technologies to make a difference to the lives of those living with dementia and sight loss.
RNIB Scotland also produced a practice note that supports staff to create an individualised action plan following a falls multi-factorial risk assessment.

Advice for people with dementia and sight loss

If you have dementia and sight loss, visit our webpage for blind and partially sighted people. It has lots of useful information about dementia and sight loss, looking after your sight, living with an eye condition, and helpful products and services.
 

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