• For people with sight loss, seeing gestures and facial expressions clearly can be problematic, so they can only rely on what is being said. Writing/text can be difficult to decipher as the writing may be too small or in an unusual font or the paper too shiny. Mobile phones and computers/the internet use may be challenging to access too.
• For people with hearing loss, one to one face to face can be awkward if the other person isn’t looking or focused on the deaf person. Background noise can be an issue when trying to distinguish what is being said. It can also affect talking/listening on the phone or watching TV or listening to the radio. In conversation, they will attempt to watch the other person’s face and lips to try and lip read or get the gist from facial expressions as well as use clues about the context to try to respond appropriately.
• For people with dual sensory loss, they have massive difficulty as they are unable to see or hear what is being said in person, on the phone, in the newspaper, on TV, on the radio. They could lose all knowledge of the outside world without the right support.
• For people with sight loss, tasks such as writing lists, keeping appointments or personal correspondence, can have a detrimental effect on conserving their self-esteem and more so, their confidentiality.
• For people with hearing loss, they find it difficult with people who use the telephone to pass on information or keep in touch with them.
• For people with dual sensory loss, it can take away or reduce independence and privacy, as they have to rely on someone else to provide the information (write the shopping list, make the appointments etc) for them.
Familiar layouts and routine
• A person with sight loss can be left feeling isolated from others. It can sometimes result in an inability to negotiate the environment and move safely around their own home, so it’s helpful to be surrounded by the familiarity of their own home, (the position of the furniture, door frames, switches etc).
• A person with hearing loss can be left feeling isolated form others. If they’re used to a certain daily routine, seeing the same people, doing the same things, they can have trouble following conversations or asking for directions or meeting up with friends.
• People with sight loss or hearing loss or both need to have confidence in themselves and their surroundings.
For people with sensory loss, poor mobility can also cause difficulty in moving around, whether in their own home or outside, as well as using transport, being a passenger in a car, going on a bus or using a wheelchair.