Tackling Isolation, Increasing Independence.
To Change the face of Deafblindness in the UK


Welcome to our HI-VIS UK learning platform that is designed to help you to discover more about age related dual sensory loss and how it impacts on daily life.

Whether you are an older person, a carer or care sector professional, a clinician, social work professional, a student, someone looking for a new career or an employer you will find information and advice that will help you as an individual and in your professional life

Hi-Vis UK is the charity that specialises in supporting those people who are experiencing problems with their vision and hearing as they are getting older and also those people and organisations who provide care and support.

Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Community Fund we have produced this short film to tell you a little about: the issues that loosing hearing and sight can cause; what you can expect; how you can prepare to deal with those issues; who can help you and what are your rights to statutory support.

There are also further opportunities for you to learn more and even gain CPD and qualifications that can help your career or business. Just stay in touch with Hi-Vis UK to find out more. Meanwhile here is a short “explainer” to get you started.

Photo of an elderly white woman looking out of a window. She seems to be in deep thought

What is Dual Sensory Impairment?

Age related dual sensory loss is known by many names, such as deafblindness; combined hearing and vision loss; dual sensory impairment or just simply that my eyes and ears are not as good as they used to be.

Some of these names can be quite scary to the individual concerned but as you watch this film you will see that you can learn how to get help to make sure you prepare an individual and their living environment  to ensure that, if hearing and vision deteriorates you can still continue to live the life you want to and stay independent.

For the vast majority of those living with age related dual sensory loss it doesn’t mean that they have lost all their hearing and all of their sight

For many of us by the time we reach our mid-seventies or older our hearing and sight has deteriorated to the extent that it is making the things we are used to doing more tricky to accomplish – simple everyday things such as reading a book, opening a letter, writing, listening to music, gardening, putting on make-up, hearing the door bell or telephone, crossing the road, talking to people, socialising or even safely getting up and down stairs or making a cup of tea.

How Does it Affect Older People?

About ten years ago now the government carried out extensive research into the impact on the health of age related dual sensory loss, which found that a deafblind person (government likes to use that phrase to describe age related dual sensory loss) over the age of 75 is:

Photo of elderly white woman greeting a young white woman at home or in a care setting.
  • 3.6 times more likely to have a stroke
  • 2.2 times more likely to have arthritis
  • 2.5 times more likely to have heart disease
  • 1.5 times more likely to have blood pressure issues
  • 2.7 times more likely to have depression, and
  • 3 times more likely to fall over

They went on to report that deafblind people without support or special life skills training will find it more difficult to:

  • Stay fit and active
  • Eat and drink properly
  • Stay in touch with others
  • Keep their minds active, and
  • Access important information

Looking Ahead, Being Prepared

We now live in a society where we are expected to live much longer than our parents and grandparents, so what can we do to prepare ourselves to live an active and independent life when our hearing and sight is rapidly deteriorating?

Well first of all we recommend that you make sure that your hearing and sight is tested regularly (and that any hearing aids or spectacles are still right for you and working properly)

You do not need to wait till you are in your seventies or experiencing any difficulties or changes before you begin to plan for the future. Everything you learn now will be just as important to your children and grandchildren too as they will better understand how you are – and also have some self-awareness for what things might be like when they are in their seventies.

Simple Changes Can Make All the Difference

The Home Environment

Is it bright enough to carry out your daily activities; can you hear the TV, radio, telephone and doorbell; do you feel safe; are you confident to cook or make a cup of hot tea or coffee; can you see the water level in your bath; can you tell which tin is which; are you able to sort our the whites from the colours when you wash and can you read the dials on your washing machine, cooker or microwave.

Communication & Mobility

Is it becoming more difficult to understand what people are saying or to join in conversations with groups of friends; are you finding crossing the road more daunting;; are you feeling more reluctant to go shopping or to the cinema, theatre or pub; when was the last time you spoke to someone new?

We Are Here to Help

If any of the above ring a bell with you then you could be beginning to show signs of dual sensory loss and that’s where we can help you, and if you like, your family, friends and social circle.

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