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Sensory Loss Essay

Outcome1. Understand the factors that impact on an individual with sensory loss

1.1 Analyse how a range of factors can impact on individuals with sensory loss. A range of factors can impact on individuals with sensory loss. We gather so much information from our sight and hearing. Reading, writing, talking and listening are all things we do in everyday life, we rely on our senses to process and understand what is going on in the world around us. We use these senses to carry out everyday living skills so to those with sensory loss this can have a massive impact. Sensory loss can frequently lead to isolation and frustration and not being able to communicate effectively with other people. If an individual suffered from hearing loss day-to-day activities such as watching the television, answering a telephone or hearing the doorbell can become very daunting and difficult tasks. This could lead to the individual feeling inadequate and isolated from other people. Being blind or partially sighted means losing the ability to see facial expressions and gestures making it difficult for the person to understand what is being communicated.

Not being able to read information can put the individual at risk, for example the information on medication packets, if this can’t be seen clearly or not at all it could lead to the individual under dosing, overdosing or taking the wrong medication which could lead to other health problems. Everyday tasks other people take for granted can become increasingly difficult for a person, the reading of labels on food packets where oven temperatures and times are written, the setting of the oven or microwave are examples of how hard things can become, not being able to read letters or bank statements and having to get others to do this can have an effect on maintaining confidentiality and independence. Even something as simple as going to your wardrobe and choosing an outfit for the day would become difficult for a person who is visually impaired. Mobility is another factor that would be impacted by sensory loss especially in unfamiliar surroundings the individual could become disoriented and be at risk of not seeing potential hazards for example traffic. The individual would need to rely on others to carry out simple tasks such as going to the shop to buy milk.

1.2 Analyse how societal attitudes and beliefs impact on individuals with sensory loss. The attitudes and beliefs of society of individuals with sensory loss can impact them in a negative way, people often believe that someone who suffers a sensory loss also has lack of understanding. Some people will automatically raise their voice to an individual who suffers a visual loss. People with any kind of sensory loss can have difficulties in finding employment. Even though the Equality Act and the Disability Discrimination Act mean that employers cannot discriminate, it is hard to convince an employer that a sensory loss does not necessarily mean that someone is unable to do a job.

There are many things that people do without thinking of the impact they may have on people with sensory loss for example parking at a dipped curb or parking on the pavements and not leaving room to pass especially for someone who is visually impaired and this is their usual route and they are not used to obstacles being in the way. However not all is negative, society is better than it used to be. Bus companies accommodate for people with sensory loss for example guide dogs are allowed on buses and the stop button has brail this makes it much easier for people with impaired vision to go out into the community and live an independent life.

There are also more building such as cinemas, theatres and conference facilities that have loop systems so that people who have hearing aids can listen to what is being said or preformed. Some television programmes have access to subtitles and some even have signers in the bottoms corners. You can also get access to audio description which will describe in detail exactly what is happening on the screen. There are many more services that provide support to people with sensory loss, there is more training provided for carers and support worker so we can support these individuals better and help to improve their quality of life. 1.3 Explore how a range of factors, societal attitudes and beliefs impact on the service provision.

Society’s attitudes and beliefs impact on the service provision as people believe that everyone has rights and should be treated with respect and as an individual. The provision provides the individuals with the support they need to ensure they have a better quality of life. The social model of disability supports the idea of person-centred services. For people with sensory loss, this means that services are planned in a way that gives people control over the services they need to support them.

Discrimination is one of the biggest problems in today’s society, people with sensory loss are treated differently, and there a lot of barriers that need to be overcome. The service provision work together to help overcome these barriers.

The is also the issues of money and ensuring they can provide the service individuals need within a budget. This can impact on the service as some individuals may not get the support they need or they could be waiting a long time before it is available to them.

Outcome2. Understand the importance of effective communication for individuals with sensory loss. 2.1 explain the methods of communication used by individuals with sight loss, hearing loss and deaf blindness. There are many ways in which a person with sight loss can communicate verbal methods such as talking face to face or over the phone may be used. Auditory methods such as listening and responding to taped information could also be used depending on what the individual prefers. Non-verbal can include things like touch, gesture and tactile methods including brail. Depending on the severity of the sight loss other methods such as low vision aids could also enable the individual to communicate with others. People with hearing loss may use a variety of different methods in order to communicate with others.

Non-verbal methods include using eye-contact, facial expressions, touch, gesture, signs or sign language. Written communication methods such as letters, pictures, texts or email. Many people with hearing loss will learning to lip read to enable them to respond with others. People who are deaf blind communicate using their remaining sight and hearing. They can also use touch with objects, known as tactile communication or by using touch with people this is called tactual communication. Depending on the individual’s preference, education and background will determine the best method of communication; some may prefer to use different noises in order to distinguish what they want other may use pictures or brail.

2.2 Describe how the environment facilitates effective communication for people with sensory loss.

By using different colours it is possible to help people with sensory loss differentiate between surfaces. It can also be used to highlight key and safety features for example areas of danger would be in red. An effect colour contrasted environment will reduce the risk of injury. This enables people with sensory loss to go out by themselves. Making things bigger and easier to see such as sign posts helps people with sensory loss to find their ways around. Places of interest such as cinemas, museums and theatres facilitates for sensory loss by providing loop systems and audio description. Out in the community you will see that many curbs a dipped which not only provides access for wheelchair use but it indicates the end of the pavement.

One key beneficial aspect for someone with hearing loss would be to reduce the background noise level, however this can be difficult out in the community or in a group setting, but it is important to be aware of noise level and if possible move to a quieter area for important discussions. People are also an important part of the environment so if possible we as support works should remind others to think about the communication needs of people with sensory loss.

2.3 Explain how effective communication may have a positive impact on lives of individuals with sensory loss.

Effective communication for individuals with sensory loss can help them to cope with their sensory loss and maintaining social contact can help to build their confidence and self-esteem which will vastly contribute to a better quality of life. It can help them to build relationships and maintain independence out in the community. Being able to effectively communicate with other can give them the ability of choice and make decisions in their own life and let others know how they would like to be cared for or supported.

Outcome3. Understand the main causes and conditions of sensory loss.

3.1 Identify the main causes of sensory loss.

Age is one of the main causes of sensory loss, as we age our hearing and sight deteriorates. Most people begin to lose a small amount of their hearing when they are 30 to 40 years old. This hearing loss increases as you get older. By the age of 80 most people will have significant hearing problems. Another common cause of hearing loss is damage to the ear due to repeated exposure to loud noises over time. This is known as noise-induced hearing loss and it occurs when the sensitive hair cells inside the cochlea become damaged. Some people may be born deaf or become deaf over time due to a genetic abnormality. People can also suffer hearing loss as a result of a viral infection or disease they have suffered. There are many potential causes of deafblindness. It can either be present at birth or develop later in life.

Deafblindness is often caused from genetic conditions such as Down’s syndrome. Other causes can be excessive alcohol or drug induces by the pregnant mother or viral infection such as rubella during pregnancy. Deafblindness can also be the result of age, illness or injury. Most people with acquired deafblindness have been able to see or hear for most of their lives. Most causes of visual impairment are conditions that develop as you get older. About 8 in every 10 people with visual impairment are over 65. However, losing your vision is not an inevitable part of ageing. It is often the result of a condition that can either be treated or sometimes even prevented. Examples of these conditions are cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

3.2 Define congenital sensory loss and acquired sensory loss.

Congenital sensory loss is when the individual has sensory loss from birth whereas acquired sensory loss is when the sensory loss has developed as a result of aging, serious injury or illness.

3.3 Identify the demographic factors that influence the incidence of sensory loss in the population. There are many factors that’s influence the incidence of sensory loss in the population, as people age it is a common that losing some sight, hearing or both is a normal part of grow old. With rising numbers of people over 60 years old and with the growing life expectancy the amount of people who experience both sight and hearing loss is also escalating. Another factor in the population is the level of noise out in the community. Continuous exposers to loud noises can damage your hearing. Exposer to certain viral infections and some other illnesses can also be a factor to sensory loss in the population especially if the infections are passed on from person to person i.e. rubella.

Outcome4. Know how to recognise when an individual may be experiencing sight and / or hearing loss and actions that may be taken. 4.1 Identify the indicators and signs of sight loss, hearing loss and deafblindness.

Eyesight tends to disappear more gradual than sudden. In fact the warning signs in adults can be subtle and may not be noticed until it becomes a nuisance. As support workers we should be looking for signs such as squinting, bumping into objects, moves hesitantly and stays close to walls. We should also be listening to complaints of headaches, migraines and eyes hurting. Again hearing loss can be subtle, some indicators and signs of hearing loss include, needed frequent repetition, have difficulty following conversation, thinking people sound muffled and have the TV or radio turned up to high volume.

People who suffer hearing loss may also rise their own voice during conversation as they may not be able to hear themselves speaking. When an individual suffers from deafblindness you may notice a combination of the signs and indication of someone who suffers hearing or sight loss.

4.2 Explain actions that should be taken if there are concerns about onset of sensory loss or change in sensory status.

If you notice changes in the ability of someone you support, it is important to speak to them about what you have noticed. For example, if you think that someone’s sight is deteriorating, you need to check with them that they have noticed too.

If we have concerns we should explain to them what can be done to get it check and treatments or aids available to them. We should go through the options for investigating the cause of the loss and ensure that we have the person’s agreement to contacting the relevant health professional. The first contact would usually be the GP who would arrange further specialist test.

If further treatment is need it is important that as support workers we reassure the individual and support them to appointments. The individual’s family should also be informed.

4.3 Identify sources of support for those who may be experiencing onset sensory loss.

There are specialist organisation such as RNIB and RNID that provide information and specialist advice they could also provide information on local facilities. GPs and local hospitals would also be able to provide support also some primary care trusts also have sensory support teams who may be able to provide support or to offer advice on good practice. There are many awareness courses that employers can also provide to carers/support worker so they can better support the individuals with onset sensory loss.

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