How Dementia Can Lead to Vision Issues in Aging Adults

Dementia & Vision Loss in Seniors

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Dementia can produce a wide variety of unusual symptoms, including issues with vision. Even in seniors who used to have excellent vision, the brain may no longer be able to interpret and process all the information the eyes collect. While this symptom might seem overwhelming at first, you can do quite a bit to minimize the impact it has on your aging loved one’s life. 

Understanding Dementia & Vision Impairment

Dementia is a general term used to describe a sudden decrease in cognitive abilities, which is usually the result of plaques in the brain killing off healthy cells, and the most common symptom of this disorder is memory loss. Researchers and doctors from around the world are now discovering that dementia can impact vision as well. When the eyes collect light, the images are interpreted by various areas of the brain. If those areas have been damaged by dementia, seniors might begin to experience vision loss. 

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 Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of elderly home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Types of Vision Issues

Most experts agree dementia can impact five distinct components of a senior’s vision: color perception, depth perception, motion detection, peripheral vision, and contrast sensitivity. When these visual problems occur, your loved one could experience a wide array of symptoms that impact quality of life. You may notice that your loved one can no longer pick out distinct colors or judge distances when reaching out to grab things. Your loved one might also become confused or agitated when there’s a lot of movement in front of him or her. 

Difficulty with Object Recognition

It’s important to note that difficulty with object recognition is another problem many seniors with dementia are going to face at some point. As this disease progresses, the brain might not be able to interpret simple images and objects. An example would be forgetting which piece of silverware to use for a particular dish. 

Seniors with dementia might also have a difficult time identifying family members or matching names to faces. Delusions and hallucinations can occur as well, but those issues are often tied to other areas of the brain. 

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. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide senior home care. Columbia families can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer compassionate care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.

Working through Vision Impairment

Luckily, you can do quite a bit to help your loved one manage visual problems. The first step in this process is scheduling a comprehensive checkup with an eye doctor. Make absolutely sure your loved one has an updated eyeglasses prescription, and you might need to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor every five or six months. 

You also need to create a comfortable living environment that doesn’t confuse or agitate your loved one. Closing the blinds, removing mirrors, and getting rid of other sources of visual stimulation could help your loved one relax when eating or getting ready to go to bed. 

Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Columbia 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 today at 443-233-1245 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.