More support needed for people with sight loss

young carer showing senior man how to use tablet in park

New research has shown more support is required in care homes for people with sight loss.

The study by the Thomas Pocklington Trust shows more information and support is needed to improve residents’ quality of life.

Pamela Lacy, research manager at Thomas Pocklington Trust, commented: “Many local sight loss charities provide a range of services, such as visual awareness training and befriending, that can help to address the impacts of visual impairment. This research suggests that residents’ quality of life could be positively affected by care homes connecting with their local sight loss charity to access the services on offer.”

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It is estimated that up to half the 400,000 older people in care homes have some form of sight loss requiring extra support.

The research found that residents’ quality of life was improved by visual awareness training along with information about aids and technology and access to volunteer services, such as befriending.

These services helped to reduce the impacts of social loss and social isolation.

Dr Lizzie Ward, a senior research fellow at the University of Brighton, commented: “Co-producing research with people with visual impairment is important, as it generates an understanding of the experiences of visually impaired people, and could be conducted more in the sight loss sector. The outcome of co-production is research that has been shaped in partnership with the people whose needs it was intended to address and consequently findings that are relevant to their lives.”

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