The INSIGHT project: Isolation and loneliness for people with sight loss in care homes
This study will explore current provision for the identification and prevention of loneliness and social isolation in older people with sight loss in care homes.
- Sinead Cregan, Leeds City Council
As more people are living longer, the number of people living with sight loss is increasing, with over half of older people living in care homes affected. Living with sight loss and admission to residential care have both been linked with isolation and loneliness in older people, resulting in an increased risk of depression and reduced quality of life. Given the additional challenges that sight loss presents for social interaction, it is likely that isolation and loneliness is more common among care home residents who have sight loss.
The Care Act 2014 requires local authorities to promote people’s wellbeing by taking steps to prevent, delay or reduce individual’s needs for care and support, before they reach a crisis point. However, we do not know what care homes are currently doing to address isolation and loneliness in care home residents, how older people feel about opportunities for building relationships and engaging in social activities in care homes, and what factors help or hinder meeting the social support needs and expectations of older residents with sight loss. This study aims to address these questions and provide evidence to help care home providers to develop good practice, and to support individuals choosing a care home.
This study takes place in Yorkshire and Humber and uses a mixed methods approach. We will start by conducting a short survey to collect some basic information about care homes from all care homes in Yorkshire and Humber that are currently registered with the ENRICH Network (Enabling Research in Care Homes) as research ready care homes. We will then select 10 care homes in Yorkshire and Humber with a diverse range of characteristics to take part in the study. Across these care homes, we will collect information and experiences through interviews with older people with sight loss, their family members, and the practitioners supporting them in the care homes. We will then run working groups with professionals and older residents with sight loss to discuss the findings and develop accessible resources to help practitioners in recognising and addressing social isolation and loneliness among this group of residents and to support people with sight loss and their family in decisions about care homes. We will also present the research findings at conferences and other events.
The findings of this study will increase our knowledge of adult social care practice and contribute to the development of good practice.
August 2017 – April 2019