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Care and Management of People with Impaired Sight and Dementia

Background and aims

With advancing age, sight and hearing impairments become more common, as does dementia. When individuals suffer from both impaired sight and dementia at the same time, carers and managerial staff in residential and care homes require more differentiated guidance in order to provide an environment that facilitates independence and hence quality of life. Moreover, it is important to recognise whether problems occur because a person has a form of dementia OR because a person has a sensory impairment. If symptoms of impaired sight are wrongly ascribed to a form of dementia, opportunities are missed for aids-based rehabilitation or for care and management appropriate to a visual impairment, and the chance to improve quality of life is not taken up. Any rehabilitation planning must therefore start by recognising causes and generating a diagnosis (see Spring, Seifert & Schelling, 2014).

The aim of the study is to draw up guidelines for the care of people with impaired sight or hearing combined with dementia in outpatient and residential care. These guidelines will take the form of useful advice and are intended to provide practical support for care and management, rehabilitation and the provision of an appropriate environment.

Questions

  1. What current approaches and methods have proved effective in outpatient, part-residential and fully residential management and care when working with elderly people who have impaired sight or hearing? And what approaches are applied to people with a form of dementia?      
  2. To what extent are these approaches and methods equally suitable – mutatis mutandis – in the care, management and rehabilitation of people with impaired sight or hearing or people with a form of dementia, and what gaps can be identified?
  3. What general guidelines can be formulated for the outpatient, part-residential and fully residential management and care of people with impaired sight or hearing and a form of dementia?

Methods

The first step is to review the literature in order to identify widespread approaches and methods applied in the outpatient, part-residential and fully residential management and care of elderly people with impaired sight or hearing on the one hand and people with a form of dementia on the other.

The second step is to identify commonalities and gaps in these approaches with regard to the respective target group. 

The third step is to formulate general guidelines for the outpatient, part-residential and fully residential management and care of people with impaired sight or hearing and a form of dementia. The concepts and guidelines that result will be discussed and validated within a group of experts from both specialist fields.

The project design is interdisciplinary. The Swiss National Association of and for the Blind (SNAB) will lead the project will work in partnership with the Interkantonale Hochschule für Heilpädagogik (HfH) and the Institute on Ageing at Bern University of Applied Sciences. A group of external specialists from the fields of care and visual impairment will participate in the work at a number of workshops to facilitate validation.

Results

Guidelines with recommendations and examples of good practice for the appropriate care, management and rehabilitation of people with a sight or hearing impairment and a form of dementia in outpatient, part-residential and fully residential care are developed.

Facts

Duration
04/2015-12/2016
No.
5_42

Project Management

  • Forschungsbeauftragter SZB

  • Berner Fachhochschule, Institut Alter

Kontakt

Forschung und Entwicklung
Tel: +41 44 317 11 81

zfe[at]hfh.ch zfe