Understanding Sensory Loss

Unit 4222-393 Understanding Sensory Loss O 1-1 A range of factors can impact on individuals with sensory loss. We gather so much information from our sight and hearing. Talking, listening & reading are all things we do in everyday life, we rely on our senses to understand and process what is going on around us and to carry out our everyday living skills, so to lose any of these will have a massive impact. Decreased vision and/or hearing can lead to a breakdown in communication, as we depend so much on non-verbal communications.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 instance 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. Sighted people can go straight to a wardrobe or draw and grab the clothes they want to wear that day but being blind or partially sighted can make it really difficult and you may have to become reliant on somebody else to do this for you.Mobility can also be affected especially in unfamiliar surroundings the individual may become disoriented and be at risk by not seeing objects, people or hazards. Deafness also has a range of factors that can impact on individuals again communication becomes really difficult. We use our hearing to gather allsorts of information and not hearing what is being said can also lead to misunderstandings, sounds may be muffled and difficult to understand.

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They could be in hospital or at the doctors and miss important information that is being said or have difficulty following a conversation, making and receiving phone calls is increasingly difficult and sometimes this is the only way of having contact with someone. Conversations with family and friends can become difficult making the person feel isolated, as can things like being in a social setting that is noisy making it awkward to hear the voices of those talking to you.Having a dual sensory loss means you can’t look for different clues when communicating, it may become almost impossible to go out on your own and to carry out daily living tasks without somebody there to help. All these can impact greatly on gathering information and making informed choices, it can lead to individuals feeling isolated and depressed, they may become withdrawn which may lead to loneliness and it may have a detrimental effect on their health and well being. Unit 4222-393 Understanding Sensory Loss O1-2Hearing and sight loss aren’t an obvious disability so people may not be aware that the individual has this difficulty and may judge them wrongly. A lack of knowledge can lead people to be prejudice and discriminate against the individual. Sometimes people talk down to them as if they are stupid or talk to the person they are with which can make them feel ignored and worthless.

It can also have the opposite effect where people want to everything for the person because they think they can’t do things for themselves taking away the individuals independence and right of choice.When out in community people don’t think of the consequences or hazards their actions may mean to someone with sensory loss, for example leaving wheelie bins in the middle of pavements can become a real hazard for someone blind or partially sighted, this may lead to them not feeling safe to go out so their freedom is restricted and they may become isolated and reliant on others. It’s not always taken into consideration that the individual’s communication needs are different and other forms of gaining information may be needed such as Braille or interrupters (with the individuals consent)O1-3 Person centred approaches have changed the way services are provided, individuals now have choice rather them being told what is best for them.

They can now work out a support plan based on what they can do for themselves and what areas they need support with. A range of specialist communication methods are available so the individual is included in decision making and a range of support can be offered so the individual has equal opportunities. People now have a better understanding of sensory loss due to training programmes raising awareness.