Do you know someone who turns the TV up louder or struggles to hear on the phone? Or perhaps someone you care for has experienced changes in their sight recently? In East Sussex we have a growing population of people who have hearing or sight loss, and both are common.
While hearing and sight loss can affect people of any age, they become more common as we get older. Almost one in six people aged over 65 have sight loss which affects their day-to-day living, and the number of people with sight loss in East Sussex is expected to increase 26% by 2030. According to the charity East Sussex Hearing there are 116,000 hearing impaired people in the county and 40% of people over 50 have a hearing loss.
As more and more people experience hearing loss, sight loss, or both, it’s important to know where to turn to for support.
The first step when experiencing problems with vision or hearing is to contact your GP practice. Once diagnosed with a sensory impairment by a GP the Sensory Impairment Reablement Team at East Sussex County Council could help.
The team offers a range of support and advice to help stay independent at home. They’ve recently launched a new online self-assessment form to make it even easier for local people to access their expertise.
After getting in touch the team can:
provide information and advice
offer rehabilitation support, including daily living skills, use of digital technology, and orientation and mobility training
develop a care and support plan
supply equipment to help manage in daily life.
Here’s some more information on sensory impairments:
Some signs of hearing loss are:
turning the volume up on the TV to hear it
finding it difficult to follow what people are saying
finding it difficult to hear people on the phone
other people have noticed you are raising your voice
If you think you have hearing loss, make an appointment to see your GP. They can refer you for further assessment.
For more information on causes of hearing loss, visit Hearing loss | NHS
There are many conditions that can cause loss of vision. Common causes are glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes and age-related macular degeneration.
Make sure you have a regular eye test. Sight problems can often be treated if they are diagnosed early.
For more information, visit: Blindness and vision loss | NHS
Dual sensory loss
Dual sensory loss is when you have a loss of both hearing and vision. It may cause major difficulties with getting around, communication and accessing information.
Getting in touch with the sensory impairment team
If you or someone you care for needs support because of a visual, hearing of sensory impairment, you can:
Call Health and Social Care Connect on 0345 60 80 191. Lines are open 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week (including bank holidays). Calls are charged at a local rate.
Email Health and Social Care Connect: email@example.com