Project looks at care for people with dementia and sight loss

Old person clutches walking stick Image copyright Getty

A project to consider how to care for the 12,500 Scots who have both dementia and sight loss is to begin.

It will look at what activities people with both conditions find rewarding.

Often, old photographs and films are used to help people with dementia reminisce, but for those who also have sight loss the technique is useless.

The new project, run by the charity Royal Blind, will carry out research and try out alternative techniques at a specialist care home in Renfrewshire.

Using things like taste tests of local foods they hope to help residents of Jenny's Well in Paisley bring back memories.

'Tailored approaches'

It is one of Scotland's two specialist care homes for sight loss run by Royal Blind, with the other in Edinburgh.

The charity will also put together resources for other care providers so they are better equipped to deal with those with both dementia and sight loss.

The research comes after the charity was awarded £20,000 by the Life Changes Trust, with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund over two years.

Chief executive Mark O'Donnell said: "Around 80% of residents at Jenny's Well live with both dementia and sight loss.

"Over the coming years, an increasing number of people in Scotland with dementia will also have sight loss, particularly as vision impairment can be a symptom of a number of different forms of dementia.

"Sight loss and dementia both require tailored approaches to care to ensure people living with the conditions receive the support they need.

"We want to develop our understanding and share learning through this project about how we provide that care and meaningful activities."