Living costs are higher for sight-impaired, research finds

The living costs of people who are severely sight-impaired are around 60% higher when compared to their sighted counterparts

25 Jan 2016 by Emily McCormick

Living costs are higher for the sightimpaired research findsThe everyday living costs of people who are eligible for certification as severely sight-impaired (SSI) can be 60% higher than for those who are fully sighted, according to new research.

The study, conducted by the Thomas Pocklington Trust, reported that people living with sight loss are incurring “substantial extra costs.”

In a follow up to research performed in 2014 at Loughborough University’s Centre for Research in Social Policy, the study used established methodology to calculate Minimum Income Standards in different households to discover the minimum weekly budgets of those living alone and suffering different degrees of sight loss.

Researchers found that a severely sight impaired person was paying 60% more than that of someone without sight impairment. In addition, for those eligible for certification as sight-impaired (SI), with some use of sight, the cost of living was up to 41% higher than the sighted population.

The study calculated that the additional costs for an SSI adult of working age was around £116.43 per week, while for an SI pension aged adult the additional cost could be £75.39.

The additional costs were incurred when paying for day-to-day essentials including transport, food and bills. Researchers said that a range of practical and psychological factors, such as the ability and confidence to do things independently, influenced the variation in costs.

Research and dissemination manager at the Thomas Pocklington Trust, Pamela Lacy, said: “Understanding the complexities of the differing needs of people according to the severity of their sight loss and life stage is crucial in order for them to maintain a minimum acceptable standard of living.

“The evidence in this new study demonstrates the substantial extra costs people with sight loss are incurring and which need to be recognised by policy-makers.”

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