COVID-19 | The Hi-VisUK Guides

Caring for someone over 70? You need to read our free guides!

About Our Guides

Our Hi-VisUK information and guidance series is designed to help those supporting or caring for an older person with Dual Sensory Impairment (DSI) during this COVID-19 emergency and the guidance on social distancing and socially isolating.

Who are they for?

The guides are for the DSI person’s family, friends, neighbours, carers and care organisations, social care and health care providers.

What do they include?

Each individual guide aims to help you quickly understand the impacts of DSI and the extra challenges brought about by the COVID-19 emergency of keeping them and you safe and still having effective communication.

Our guides cover a range of everyday situations and related challenges facing a DSI person and those who need to see them during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Is English your second language?

Each guide is available as a webpage and a downloadable PDF. Using the webpage version means you can use the translate button (at the top centre of each webpage) to choose the language you prefer.

British Sign Language (BSL) users can access the BSL video version further down this webpage or click on this link:

COVID-19 GUIDE #1: Visiting someone with DSI at their home

In this guide we consider what happens when you arrive at their front door.

How do you both stay safe and communicate well?

Callers may have difficulty contacting them: by phone, through a window or from 2 metres away.

When you arrive at their address, you may find that they can’t hear the doorbell or knocking at the door.

Try to attract their attention by knocking on the window nearest to them and moving around to try and catch their attention.

When you speak to them, if you know they use hearing aids, check they are wearing them – and if not, use gestures to get them to put them on. Ensure that you are facing them with your mouth clearly visible. Speak loudly and clearly but do not shout.

If they still do not seem to understand after two or three attempts, try to rephrase or shorten your message and try that two or three times.

If that is not successful, then try writing your message using a large black felt tip marker pen on white paper.

An A4 whiteboard using a whiteboard marker pen can also be very useful.

Alternatively, if you have a tablet/iPad with you that would also be a good way to show your questions, enlarging the type accordingly. Use a clean font such as Calibri or Helvetica.

If you wear PPE

For example a protective face mask – your lip patterns and facial expressions will be hidden so writing things in large clear letters might be the only way to get your message across.

Remember, they may not be able to see you clearly so, if possible, wear brightly coloured clothing.

How do I know they understand me?

They will be able to use their voice to answer your question and explain their situation.

If you are worried about someone:

·        In an emergency, please call: 999

·        If there is no immediate risk, call the police on: 101

Learn about DSI online – it’s free

In this most challenging of times, it is even more urgent that we learn how to communicate and protect one of our most vulnerable groups, older people with DSI.

Thanks to support from the National Lottery Community Fund we are able to provide free, practical online learning that will help you get the COVID-19 message across more effectively and support someone with DSI.


For further help or advice please email

Download the Guide

You can also download a PDF of our guides – just CLICK on the image below

Please SHARE these with as many people and organisations as possible.

COVID-19 and Dual Sensory Loss Guides in British Sign Language

Our Hi-Vis UK COVID-19 & DSI guides 1 to 4 are also available on video in British Sign Language (BSL). Each video is also subtitled in English.

There is no sound on these videos. Note: Guide 3 is divided into 8 sections/8 separate BSL videos.