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Meeting the needs of older peoplewith visual impairment: social care orsocial exclusion?

Percival, J; Hanson, J; Johnson, M; Zako, R; (2003) Meeting the needs of older peoplewith visual impairment: social care orsocial exclusion? (Occasional Paper 2 ). Thomas Pocklington Trust, UCL (University College London), Thomas Pocklington Trust: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper is based on the research study ?Housing and supportneeds of older people with visual impairment ? experiences andchallenges? (Hanson et al, 2002).1The full findings of this study are reported in another occasionalpaper produced by Thomas Pocklington Trust.2 It is, however, usefulto state that this study found evidence that sight loss in later life hassignificant emotional consequences, often unacknowledged byprofessionals. It also showed how older people with visionimpairment often have their own coping strategies, but are less ablethan sighted peers to carry out certain daily tasks.The study suggested that professionals should offer sensitive andtimely support, in a more collaborative manner, and that serviceshave to be monitored and evaluated to avoid wide-ranging needsremaining unmet. In respect of the home environment, researchindicated that adequate and accessible domestic space in which todo housework safely, low vision equipment and the provision ofovernight accommodation for guests and carers was required.Most participants in the study wished to stay in their homes andneighbourhoods. When asked about possible alternative options,participants emphasised the importance of location and sufficientspace. If they were considering supported housing, they requiredfull information about how it addressed their particular needs.This paper focuses on whether older people with visual impairmentare vulnerable to social exclusion if their social care needs are unmet. In particular, this paper argues that:? Greater professional collaboration is required to improve eyeclinic and community support services.? Relevant staff should aim to provide timely and holisticassessments of need.? Older people with vision impairment have significant needs asregards home care support, access to information, psychologicalstress and social isolation.? Initiatives such as peer support groups and resource centres offeropportunities to tackle social exclusion arising from unmetneeds. This paper is based on the research study ?Housing and supportneeds of older people with visual impairment ? experiences andchallenges? (Hanson et al, 2002).1The full findings of this study are reported in another occasionalpaper produced by Thomas Pocklington Trust.2 It is, however, usefulto state that this study found evidence that sight loss in later life hassignificant emotional consequences, often unacknowledged byprofessionals. It also showed how older people with visionimpairment often have their own coping strategies, but are less ablethan sighted peers to carry out certain daily tasks.The study suggested that professionals should offer sensitive andtimely support, in a more collaborative manner, and that serviceshave to be monitored and evaluated to avoid wide-ranging needsremaining unmet. In respect of the home environment, researchindicated that adequate and accessible domestic space in which todo housework safely, low vision equipment and the provision ofovernight accommodation for guests and carers was required.Most participants in the study wished to stay in their homes andneighbourhoods. When asked about possible alternative options,participants emphasised the importance of location and sufficientspace. If they were considering supported housing, they requiredfull information about how it addressed their particular needs.This paper focuses on whether older people with visual impairmentare vulnerable to social exclusion if their social care needs are unmet. In particular, this paper argues that:? Greater professional collaboration is required to improve eyeclinic and community support services.? Relevant staff should aim to provide timely and holisticassessments of need.? Older people with vision impairment have significant needs asregards home care support, access to information, psychologicalstress and social isolation.? Initiatives such as peer support groups and resource centres offeropportunities to tackle social exclusion arising from unmetneeds.

Type: Report
Title: Meeting the needs of older peoplewith visual impairment: social care orsocial exclusion?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Additional information: Imported via OAI, 7:29:01 16th May 2007
Keywords: Care, EXCLUSION, housing and support, IMPAIRMENT, NEED, NEEDS, OLDER, older people, OLDER-PEOPLE, PEOPLE, social, social exclusion, Visual impairment
UCL classification: UCL > School of BEAMS
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/3322
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