First international guidance for hearing and vision care in people with dementia published

Knowledge
11 Jun 2021

A task force of experts led by Prof Iracema Leroi has researched and published the first ever international guidance for care of people with dementia regarding their vision and hearing.

'International Practice Recommendations for the Recognition and Management of Hearing and Vision Impairment in People with Dementia' presents both the rationale and process for the guidelines development.

However, the core purpose of the guideline is its recommendations, which are presented clearly across six individual domains. The domains encompass core aspects to improve detection, evaluation, management, and support of people living with hearing and/or vision impairment in dementia (HVD), as well as outlining steps for implementation.

Each recommendation is accompanied by practical steps to help health and care professionals achieve it (figure 1).

Figure 1: Reproduced table 2 from published guidance, 'Practice recommendations for domain 1 “awareness and knowledge” with steps to implement the recommendation [53-55]'

'Sensory-cognitive health is an area of growing importance and relative neglect within health and social care systems', said Iracema. 'We know that professionals are aware of the potential comorbidity of sensory and cognitive impairments but they are less confident in identifying and managing these aspects.

In people living with dementia, these impairments can have a significant impact on dementia-related behavioural and psychological changes, as well as on loneliness, social isolation, and care partner burden and strain. It is essential that we improve this area of care'

Prof Iracema Leroi

Associate Professor of Geriatric Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin

Published as an open access article in the journal of Gerontology, the group hopes to raise both awareness of the importance of sensory-cognitive heath, and improve the standards of care relating to this area in people with dementia.

International Practice Recommendations for the Recognition and Management of Hearing and Vision Impairment in People with Dementia

Further reading:

  • Leroi et al, 'Assessing and managing concurrent hearing, vision and cognitive impairments in older people: an international perspective from healthcare professionals'. Age and Ageing, Volume 48, Issue 4, July 2019, Pages 580–587, https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afy183

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