Visual, hearing and olfactory impairment are common among older people and many have difficulty adjusting to their sensory loss. The overlap between sensory, cognitive and mental ill-health is substantial and all three impact significantly on each other. All three are considered to be among the main contributory factors in reducing the quality of life for older adults and can also have a significant impact on the lives of carers.
Around 7 in 10 Europeans over the age of 65 live with sight or hearing loss and over two-thirds live with depression or other mental illnesses. Dementia and cognitive impairment steadily rise in prevalence over the age of 65 to the point where almost one-third of Europeans at the age of 90 are affected. MICRA supports research into sensory impairment in order to more fully understand the biological mechanisms behind sensory impairment, its links with cognitive and mental health, and how best to treat these interlinked phenomena.