Number of deafblind to rise by 60%

An increasing ageing population will see the number of Britons who are deafblind increase by 60% over the next two decades, according to charity Sense.

Sense looked at data from the Centre of Disability Research as part of a study into the condition.

The charity said based on the data it estimates some 569,000 people will suffer from both sight and hearing problems by 2030, with those over the age of 70 at the most risk.

Currently some 356,000 Britons are registered as deafblind.

The charity is urging the Government’s Commission on Long Term Social Care to protect the needs of deafblind people.

It said deafblind people can often suffer a range of other health problems – for example they are almost four times more likely to have a stroke.

Chief executive, Richard Brook, said: “The results of this research are startling.

“We are all living with a ticking timebomb as the number of deafblind individuals in the UK has been substantially underestimated and is set to rise dramatically over the next 20 years.

“It is essential that the Commission on Long Term Social Care recognise and protect the needs of deafblind people and take action now to plan for the longer term.”