A decade ago, estimations of the deafblind population were 24,000. This figure does not include the older age related deafblind population, due to inherent difficulties in identification and lack of awareness.
“It is now estimated that there are currently 356,000 deafblind people in the UK (572 per 100,000 people) 222,000 of those people are aged over 70 (62%), 113,000 are adults (aged 20-69) and 21,000 are children.” Sense (2012)
“As life expectancy increases, figures are set to rise dramatically by 2030, to 569,000 deafblind people (806 per 100,000 people) a 60% increase. 418,000 of those will be aged over 70“. Sense (2012) A Sense of Urgency
It is accepted that these figures are not a true representation of the deafblind population, because of inherent difficulties in identification due to lack of awareness, these include:
- Older people with age related sight and hearing loss that live in residential or nursing homes. Often this group are more isolated due to inability to communicate, loss of independence and lack of awareness of dual sensory loss
- people who, because of the implicit nature of deafblindness, do not have access to information and services available and are not known to statutory services
- people with learning disabilities or multiple impairments, whose primary need is not considered to be sensory
- people whose sight and hearing has deteriorated since initial assessment