Work package two will use a multi-disciplinary approach to fill knowledge gaps about the accurate and timely detection of mental health problems (cognitive and emotional) in elderly people with vision and hearing deficits.
Mental ill health costs the EU €277 billion/year (2005) and yet less than 1/3 of affected people receive any treatment, with marked gender, socio-economic status and ethnicity inequalities in access to and take up of care. This trend is magnified in those who are have the added burden of vision and hearing impairment.
A key limiting issue is the lack of availability of valid and reliable cognitive and mental health assessments for professional use that can transcend communications barriers, such as those resulting from sensory impairment, low education status, and diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
Importantly, the dependence on a variety of ratings scales and questionnaires in mental health diagnosis and management is substantial because there as as yet very few, if any, objective markers of cognitive/emotional health such as imaging or fluid biomarkers.