Seniors with dementia typically experience cognitive symptoms as the condition progresses. Memory loss, confusion, and personality changes are common for older adults with dementia, yet there are also symptoms that can affect their vision. In most cases, dementia doesn’t cause physical problems with the eyes, but it can impact seniors’ ability to accurately perceive what they see. Understanding more about how dementia affects a senior loved one’s eyes helps you keep him or her safe.
Ways Dementia Affects Vision
Dementia tends to change how seniors recognize the things they see. When older adults face visual challenges, such as being unable to see more than one thing at a time, they may be diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy, which is another form of dementia that affects the back part of the cerebral cortex associated with visual processing. Your loved one may also experience problems with depth perception and peripheral vision.
Vision impairment resulting from dementia may make it difficult for seniors to complete everyday tasks on their own. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Common Visual Symptoms of Dementia
Once dementia affects the eyes, you may notice your loved one begin to have difficulty recognizing common objects. Your loved one may do things such as ignore something you place right in front of him or her. He or she may also have difficulty walking up stairs or noticing when someone is approaching from the side. Your loved one may hold things close to his or her face to get a better look, and he or she may also describe seeing things that you consider hallucinations. For instance, your loved one may perceive a dark spot on the floor as a puddle of water.
Ways to Preserve Vision
Although dementia doesn’t usually change any physical structures in the eyes, make sure your loved one gets his or her eyes examined regularly. Since dementia causes memory loss, your loved one may forget to do things such as schedule an eye exam or use medication prescribed for a condition such as glaucoma. Make sure you or another caregiver takes your loved one to eye appointments, and always mention new visual symptoms to the physician. This way, the doctor can use the information you provide to determine if the dementia is progressing.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Montgomery Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Tips to Help Your Loved One Manage Dementia-Related Vision Issues
You might not be able to stop dementia from affecting your loved one’s vision, but you can take action to keep him or her safe. If your loved one’s vision impairment affects his or her ability to drive safely, you may need to ask your parent to stop driving and have a family member or professional caregiver provide transportation to the places he or she needs to go. You can also help your loved one identify common objects. For example, placing a sticker on a glass door or window can help your loved one see that it’s not a clear space to walk through. You may also find it helpful to approach your loved one from the front rather than the side to compensate for the diminishing peripheral vision.
Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Montgomery families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care. Call us at (334) 593-3988 today to talk to one of our compassionate Care Managers about our high-quality dementia home care services.