The experience of age-related decline in sensory function is almost ubiquitous among older adults, and has wide ranging implications for their health and general well-being. In addition to being highly prevalent, hearing, vision and olfactory (smell) impairment affect older adults for substantial periods of their remaining life. Additionally, chronic diseases (e.g. diabetes, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease) are the leading cause of illness, disability and death in Australia.

There is the potential for risk of sensory impairments and chronic diseases to be minimised if healthy behaviour changes or treatment is implemented early. There is a growing interest in the role of lifestyle risk factors such as smoking, nutrition and exercise in preventing or delaying these chronic conditions.