Complex needs and older people's services
Information and advice on sight loss in people with learning disabilities, dementia and in older people for blind and partially sighted people and individuals who work in social care.
We've compiled some key information about sight loss in older people and those with complex needs but if you need more advice or support please contact us by calling 0303 123 9999 and asking for the Health and Social Care Skills Development team or emailing [email protected].
Complex needs is a term that covers multiple conditions including learning disabilities, dementia and autism and identifying sight loss in those affected can help each individual to achieve their full potential, be as independent as possible and get the most out of life.
The prevalence of sight loss among people with a learning disability is far greater than previously thought. There are about one million adults in the UK with a learning disability.
People with a learning disability are 10 times more likely to have serious sight problems than other people and those with severe or profound learning disabilities are most likely to have sight problems.
People living with dementia, a condition that can erode memory and mental capability, may also suffer sight loss that goes undetected.
Sight loss is often compounded by the fact that people with dementia are often unable to communicate their loss of vision to their family, carers and health workers who may attribute any difficulties to their dementia
Successful access to eye health care and the impact of sight loss in people living with dementia can be achieved by implementing simple changes and adaptations.
Stroke and sight loss
Stroke survivors often suffer visual difficulties and loss of vision. Ensuring people are aware of the potential visual difficulties associated with stroke survivors is paramount to their ongoing care and rehabilitation.
Autism and sight loss
People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can have a range of sight problems. This can also include difficulties with visual processing and visual spatial skills. It is vital that people with ASD receive an early diagnosis of any sight problems to ensure that appropriate support is included in education and care strategies.
Older people and sensory loss
As people get older, sight is affected as part of the natural ageing process. One in five people aged 75 and over are living with sight loss which may contribute to the risk of falling.
The impact of sight loss in older people may be reduced by having your vision tested regularly and implementing simple changes and adaptations within the environment.