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Understand Sensory Loss Essay

1. 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.

There are a number of factors that can impact individuals with sensory loss. In many cases sensory loss is hidden and people can be unaware an individual has sensory loss.

Communication is an area in which people with sensory loss have many issues. Normal day to day activities can cause them a great deal of stress and anxiety. For example if someone does not have a sensory loss they may enjoy watching television. Imagine if you could not hear what was begin said probably. The frustration that must be felt can lead to feelings of inadequacy. For someone who is unable to see the television. The can miss out on actions that are not spoken .For example someone smiling. We express facial expressions that allow to show how we are feeling. Imagine not being able to to tell by looking at someone you know if they are happy or not. This can lead a person feeling extremity frustrated

People with sensory loss can miss out on important information that people with out sensory loss take in day to day with out even realising. For example if we had an visual impairment we may not be able to read written material which is important to us such as a bank statement. A person with hearing loss could miss hear important Information such as someone shouting them to warn them of a danger.

The environment around a person with sensory loss can have a large impact on a person. For example if a a person parks a car on the curb instead of next to the curb. This can cause a person with visionary loss a great deal of distress. They may not be able to see the car and they could walk into the car causing them embarrassment and physical injury/pain.

All in all this factors can have a negative impact on their lives. Causing the individual to feel isolated, inadequate and frustrated.

1.2. Analyse how societal attitudes and beliefs impact on individuals with sensory loss.

Societal attitudes and beliefs can impact individuals with sensory loss In a large way. This on the whole can be quite negative. For example we may not mean to but often we be extremely inconsiderate of people with sensory loss in our day to day life’s. A few people often hear sensory loss and assume that a person’s intelligence and capacity to understand are effected. For example people often talk to deaf people slowly and loudly. This can make the individual feel undervalued, miss understood and stupid.

People can often be very judgemental. A person could be asking a deaf person to move by saying excuse me and how often if they did not get a reaction or the person did not respond would people think they are rude over deaf?

We often assume they are unable to complete tasks and treat them without meaning to disrespectfully by taking away there independence by assuming they are unable to do tasks such as cook there own tea.

All these factors and make an individual feel insecure, frustrated, isolated, undervalued, stupid and inadequate. Although we are know getting much better at recognising the needs of individual with sensory loss such as audio descriptive screenings for films, subtitles, loop systems, signers and guide dogs. This are helping socially as people are becoming more aware of people with sensory loss and there needs. This is having a positive impact on individuals with sensory loss by allowing them to live more independently.

1.3. Explore how a range of factors, societal attitudes and beliefs impact on service provision.

Due to recent changes in attitudes the service provision for individuals has more about the person and there needs rather than their disability. In the past professionals would decided on the support an individual would need by using a gift model. Where individuals where expected to fit in with the service, not the service to fit them.

Now the service has become person centred. This is the idea that a person has control over the services they need to support them. For example they are given a personal budget. This allows the individual a chance to decide on what support they need, how they want it delivered, who they want to deliver it, and when they want it.

This is a positive move for individuals with sensory loss as it allows them to take back there independence and receive the correct support to help them life a fulfilling life.

2. 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

Sight loss

Firstly always identify yourself even in known environment e.g. Hello, it’s Hannah. Also any others that may be around. Always use names to identify people e.g. when in a group use names. Keep them aware of where you are and if people are moving around them, who is in the room and who is leaving. Keep them informed of where objects such as tables,chairs etc. Talk to them normally there is no need to shout or talk really slowly. Use everyday language don’t be worried about using words such as look and see. Don’t use non-verbal communication e.g. pulling faces, pointing When giving instructions be accurate and specific.

Provide information in alternative formats e.g. audio, extra large pint, electronic formats, Braille etc.

Hearing Loss

Firstly make sure you are facing the individual and they can see you clearly.
Try to find out the person’s preferred communication method
When using speech, speak normal lip pattern, clearly, don’t shout and don;t turn your head away from them or cover your mouth.
Speak at ear level or if they have a preferred side to be on that side
Repeat things if necessary or rephrase them.

Use finger spelling, write things down
Ensure the location is quiet and echo’s are not present e.g. a room with soft furnishings
If there is a loop system present, ask if they want to use it.
If necessary book note-takers, lip speaker. BSL interpreters etc.

Communicating with deaf-blind individual can be difficult.
Studying the individuals body language can be helpful.
Follows the same guidelines for blind and deaf individuals and additionally.
Good lighting of the environment.
Plain backgrounds.
Light on the person speaking and coming from behind the individual. Distance and positioning are important.
Check their preferences.
Use objects to help communicate.
Provide a guide/communicator if needed.
Tactile communication e.g. Braille, moon
Finger spelling by the deaf-blind manual alphabet.

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

By providing a the correct environment we can provide effective communication for people with sensory loss. For example to put a person with visual impairments in a room with poor lighting, with lot of objects around them and ask them to read a regular newspaper would be unfair. However if we provided an environment with the correct lighting such as brighter lighting, de clutter there environment also use colour to make things stand out from there background. Use a bigger print for the paper or get a audio version.

There are three simple rules to remember for a visually impaired individual. Bigger. Bolder. Brighter. Bigger is simply making things bigger such as prints, buttons. This can also be done by illusion of moving things closer to someone so the object appears bigger.

Bolder is making things easier to see. For example colour differences. Say you have a brown table on a brown carpet against a brown wall. By either making the background a light colour or the table it instantly will stand out to them. If this can not be done try a bold colour tape along the edges of an object, edge to make it stand out. It is all about creating a large contrast between things to help them differentiate between objects.

Brighter is using better lighting to help make things easier to see. It should be the right amount to make the person feel comfortable. Lamps shinning directly onto items they directly want to see work well. Remember each individual is different so find the correct lighting for them.

For individuals with hearing loss the most effective thing in an environment is reduced background noise. Again provide good lighting so peoples faces can bee seen.

People are part of the environment also. So make sure they are aware of communication needs of others with sensory loss can help provide a positive environment for everyone. As this provides one another with consideration for one another and mutual respect.

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

By providing the correct communication for individuals with sensory loss we will eliminate a lot of their anxiety, frustration and isolation. This will help the individuals an improved quality of life as they will be able to do more e.g. go to the cinema, Talk to others. By improving their quality of life this will improve their emotion well-being and their health.

By being able to access the community they will feel like an active member of the community and as if they are providing a positive contribution. This will allow them to have a greater personal dignity. As we are all being more aware of sensory loss they will b freer from discrimination.

In all by providing effective communication we give the individuals control over their lives. As they are able to express their wants, needs and aspirations.

3. Understand the main causes and conditions of sensory loss

3.1. Identify the main causes of sensory loss.

The main course of sensory loss is the ageing process with individuals over 65 more likely to have some form experience sensory loss.

The most common causes of vision impairment:

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
Disease e.g. Diabetic Retinopathy
Genetics e.g. Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) (Tunnel vision)
Infection e.g. Meningitis
Injury or physical trauma

The most common causes of hearing impairment:

Age related deafness
Noise Induced deafness
Infection e.g. meningitis, mumps, measles, Maternal Rubella
Cochlea Ostosclerosis
Disease e.g. Ménière’s disease
Drugs (ototoxic deafness)
Physical trauma

The most common causes of deaf-blindness:

Ageing process
Genetics e.g. Usher Syndrome
Maternal infection e.g Rubella
Premature Birth
Combination of cause of visual and hearing impairments.

3.2. Define congenital sensory loss and acquired sensory loss.

Congenital sensory loss is present from birth.

Acquired sensory loss is is a sensory loss that was not present at birth but has developed later.

3.3. Identify the demographic factors that influence the incidence of sensory loss in the population.

Due to the main course of sensory loss being the ageing process . And people are now living longer and to a greater age this has increased the incidence of sensory loss within the demographics. More people are reaching above 65 so therefore more of the population are developing sensory loss.

4. Know how to recognise when an individual may be experiencing sight and / or loss and actions that may be taken.

4.1. Identify the indicators and signs of:
Sight loss
Hearing loss

The indicators for sight loss are:
Over cautious driving habits.
Find lighting either: too bright or too dim.
Frequent eye glass prescription changes.
Holding books or reading material close to face or at arm’s length.
Squinting or tilting the head to see.
Difficulty in recognizing people.
Changes in leisure time activities.
Change in personal appearance.
Changes in table etiquette.
Moving about cautiously.
Bumping into objects.
Acting confused or disoriented.

The indicators of hearing loss:
Needing the volume on things turning up e.g. radio.
Not hearing when someone knocks at the door or door bell.
Often asking people to repeat what they have said.
Having difficulty hearing when more than one person is talking.
Complaining of people mumbling or talking too quickly.
Not responding when you talk from to them from behind them.
Having difficulty following people with unfamiliar accents or new to them.
Having problems using the phone.
Misunderstanding conversation.
Avoiding social situations.
Feeling stressed and tired.

Indication of deaf-blindness can be a combination of both this lists.

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

If a person I was supporting was displaying any of this signs. I would mention it to them to see if they had noticed. They may be feeling ashamed, scared and unsure what to. I would help them by discussing their options and helping them to seek advice for the right health profession. I may also need to inform their support network and family. This will help them support the individual better and support them through the changes.

I may be supporting someone who is unable to tell me or communicate that they are having problems. In this case I would discuss it with the relative people in the care management and also record and monitor any signs they are experiencing. This would allows us to help change how we support them to make it the support more effective and helpful to them.

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

There are many sources of support for an individual that is experiencing sensory loss. Specialist support workers that are available to through their local authority and general adult services. Many primary care trust have sensory support teams that can be accessed for support or advice.

There specialist organisations like the RNIB and RNID that have all the knowledge you may require and specialist advice. These organisations can provide you with a list of local facilities in your area.

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