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How Can Seniors’ Vision Be Affected by Dementia?

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The changes in the brain that cause dementia symptoms such as memory loss can also affect vision. When people see something with their eyes, they rely on their cognitive abilities to make sense of what they see. Your senior loved one’s memory of past experiences must work with the other senses to help him or her interpret the images he or she sees. However, dementia and vision changes often occur together. When this happens, your loved one may experience some of the following problems with vision.

Issues with Depth Perception

Your loved one may begin to have difficulty detecting changes in the elevation of the ground or a floor. He or she may also be unable to tell the difference between a three-dimensional object and something that’s flat. For example, your loved one may try to step up if he or she sees a line on the floor or try to pick up an image he or she sees on the wall, such as a flower. Issues with depth perception can increase the risk of falling because your loved one may not always be able to tell when something requires him or her to step up or down. 

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 senior care Oshkosh, WI, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Diminished Peripheral Vision

There are several types of eye conditions that cause loss of peripheral vision. However, seniors with dementia tend to experience this more severely than others. If your loved one cannot see to the side while staring forward, he or she may not be able to detect objects in his or her path. Your loved one may also be easily startled and unable to notice potential hazards coming his or her way.

Difficulty Perceiving Colors

Seniors may also begin to have difficulty with color perception. While this may seem to create only a slight issue with things such as coordinating clothing, it can also be another dangerous symptom of dementia. For instance, a senior who cannot detect the colors on a stoplight may need assistance with driving. Issues with color perception may also make it difficult to distinguish common items from each other, such as a lemon and a lime.

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 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.

Challenges with Detecting Motion

For the most part, people with normal vision see the world as it is actively occurring in motion. However, someone with dementia-related memory changes may see the world as a series of still-frame pictures. Being unable to fully visualize their experiences in real-time motion makes it easier for seniors with dementia to get lost, which could pose an issue if they try to wander away from home. Your loved one may also get frustrated with common activities such as watching television if he or she is unable to keep up with what’s happening due to fast movements in his or her field of vision.

Difficulty Seeing Contrast

Seniors with dementia also have difficulty noticing color contrasts that help them recognize objects. For instance, your loved one might not be able to clearly see a white toilet surrounded by a white tile floor. When possible, make features in a room more distinguishable by choosing completely different colors for the décor elements.

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. Oshkosh 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. To hire a dedicated dementia caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at (920) 710-2273 today.