People with cognitive impairment are missing out on sight and dental checks

Published on 24 September 2021 doi: 10.3310/alert_47765

People with memory loss, confusion or difficulty concentrating (cognitive impairment) are far less likely than others to visit a dentist or have their eyesight checked, according to new research. It suggests they need more support to access preventive health services.  

Cognitive impairment can be mild, or may worsen over time and develop into dementia. The number of people with cognitive impairment and dementia is increasing as our population ages and people live longer. They may be confused, have difficulty concentrating, and struggle to carry out everyday tasks. 

Despite increased recognition of dementia, including the development of national dementia plans and specific NICE guidelines, many people seem to be falling through the gaps. A new study explored concerns that people with cognitive impairment (including those with dementia) are not receiving adequate medical help and social support.  

The researchers suggest that this group may need extra help to access sight tests and dental examinations. The tests themselves could be better adapted to the needs of people with cognitive impairment. 

Further information on dementia is available on the NHS website.

Find out why this is important to people living in care homes, children’s homes and all forms of supported living here…

NIHR Evidence source: https://evidence.nihr.ac.uk/alert/cognitive-impairment-linked-missing-eyesight-dental-checks/

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