In It Together: Sensory Loss
Impairments in hearing and/or vision are common in older age. Having lived one’s life as a fully sighted and hearing individual, older adults with sensory loss must come to terms with their declining capacity to interact with others and waning independence. There is ample research evidence showing that sensory loss (i.e., loss of hearing, vision or both) can be a distressful experience for older adults and their spouses, yet little has been done to understand what works in alleviating this distress or develop scalable cost-effective interventions to counter this distress or associated outcomes like depression, anxiety, poor quality of life, and lower relationship quality.
In this project, we will design and test an easy-to-administer, online intervention aimed at reducing emotional and marital distress in older adults with sensory loss and their spouses. The goal of our intervention will be to develop acceptance of the sensory loss through a series of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy inspired educational and therapeutic activities. We expect that our intervention will show encouraging results regarding the alleviation of distress in this group and contribute significantly to the psychosocial rehabilitation of older adults with sensory loss and their spouses.