Hanson, Julienne and Percival, John
The housing and support needs of visually impaired adults living in England today.
British Journal of Visual Impairment, 23(3),
This article reports findings from two linked projects. The first examined the housing, support and care needs of 400 visually impaired people aged 55 and over. The second looked at the housing and support needs of 121 adults aged 18-55. Only one half of younger informants and just over half of older informants had made physical alterations to their home to manage with impaired sight. A quarter of older people and three in ten younger people made no use whatsoever of aids or assistive technology. A lack of basic information prevented both groups from taking informed decisions about obtaining and adapting their accommodation. Older visually impaired people are the larger group numerically within society, and we found serious under provision of housing and services to ameliorate the problems of chronic ill health, social isolation and anxiety that many faced on a daily basis. Yet the difficulties faced by younger people were if anything even greater, especially if they had additional disabilities, were female or came from an ethnic minority. These findings challenge housing and service providers to devise innovative, person-centred and cost-effective solutions that improve the quality of life for adults of all ages with impaired vision.
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