Age Related Dual Sensory Loss

Vision Loss

An aging population means an increase in eye disease. After age 40, the number of cases of vision loss doubles every decade, and triples at age 75. Vision loss increases the incidence of other problems that include being admitted to nursing homes three years earlier, experience twice the number of falls, three times the incidence of depression, have four times as many hip fractures and have doubled the mortality rate.

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss frequently goes unnoticed. It is the most common sensory impairment in adults over the age of 65, affecting more than 30% of Canadians in this age group. Hearing loss is serious.  Not only does it affect the physical sense of hearing, it affects overall well-being. Because of the communication difficulties it creates, hearing loss can lead to withdrawal from family, friends and social situations

Dual Sensory Loss

Some of the challenges of seniors with dual sensory loss can be distressing and may include the following:

  • Isolation due to lack of communication and limited access to information;
  • Fear of going out, socializing or a general lack of enjoyment of life;
  • Inability to perform daily tasks such as shopping, grooming, care of their home, and difficulty eating;
  • Lack of self-confidence;

Canadian Helen Keller Centre recognizes these challenges and is trying to help alleviate and or eliminate them with strategies and suggestions that staff can implement at Long Term Care homes, PSW’s and within the senior’s own homes.

If you would like more information about the Seniors Program at Canadian Helen Keller Centre, please contact Marta Zaharia at or by phone 416 225-8989

Marta Zaharia
Marta Zaharia has worked in the field of deafblindness for 25 years. After many years as an intervenor with Canadian Helen Keller Centre, Marta is now Seniors Coordinator at CHKC Training Centre. Marta was one of the first graduates of The Intervenor for Deafblind Persons Program at George Brown College.  She currently is the president of the Intervenor Organization of Ontario and was a long-time member of the Deaf-blind Association of Toronto’s volunteer board.