Harry’s Story

We visit care homes to raise awareness of deafblindness in older people, to explain how we can support care providers and how to identify and support their residents with the condition. We do this using our unique Talk and TryTM sessions. This is one of the ways we meet older people and uncover their deafblindness, people like the amazing Harry.

Harry is 95 years old and has been a resident in a care home for just over a year.  Interestingly he is a retired eye specialist and was extremely curious to see the equipment for sensory loss we had brought in for the visit. He thoroughly enjoyed comparing the current day equipment with “the gadgets on offer in my day!”

To help care home staff identify residents with the condition we have devised a simple checklist which we use with them and the residents. Harry agreed to go through the checklist and found he answered yes to most of the indicators for dual sensory loss. He had a cataract removed from his right eye and has had an operation on his left eye to remove cancer. As a result he says he cannot see very much at all with his left eye. Harry wears a hearing aid in his right ear.

Harry is not happy to use the term deafblind to describe himself.  Like many older people, whilst being able to describe the many impacts of his dual sensory loss,  he thinks deafblindess is being totally deaf and completely blind and therefore does not see himself as deafblind.

After we explained the Care Act, eligibility for support and the assessment, Harry has now requested a specialist deafblind assessment from his local authority.

 

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