How Alzheimer’s Disease Affects Vision

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Many people are not aware of the visual perception changes that occur in seniors with Alzheimer’s. By understanding the visual deficits a senior with Alzheimer’s experiences, family members and caregivers can adapt the physical environment to ensure a higher degree of independence while maintaining their safety. 

Abnormal Depth Perception

It is not uncommon for seniors living with Alzheimer’s to lose their sense of depth perception. They may view something positioned higher or farther away as within reach. Dark contrasts on floors may be perceived as holes to be avoided. Depth perception failure along with contrast issues could lead to tripping and falling when the senior encounters steps or uneven terrain. In these instances, verbal cues may prevent an accident. 

If your elderly loved one has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and you require help managing his or her care needs, consider hiring an in-home caregiver. When considering in-home care, Fort Worth, TX, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.

Diminished Peripheral Vision

During the middle phases of the disorder, seniors with Alzheimer’s may develop tunnel vision. Their field of vision decreases to a mere 12 inches in diameter directly in front of where they are looking. What a senior sees might be similar to the children’s game of making binoculars with his or her fingers and looking through the circles. To prevent falls or accidents, pathways must be clear of obstructions. 

Contrast Issues

Objects of similar color that are standing side by side or atop one another may be difficult for older adults with Alzheimer’s to distinguish. Throw rugs on similarly colored floors or carpets may not be easily seen and could pose a hazard if they become rumpled. A glass filled with a beverage that is a similar color to a tablecloth may also not be distinguishable. The senior may not drink the beverage, or he or she could accidentally spill it. 

Need for Brighter Lights

The natural aging process often causes older adults to need brighter lights for reading, doing handwork, and other activities. Brighter lights are even more important for seniors with Alzheimer’s. Families and caregivers should consider increasing the intensity of light bulbs around a senior’s home. 

Confusion Due to Glares and Shadows

As the sun begins to descend, seniors with Alzheimer’s commonly display behavioral changes known as sundowning. Afternoon glares or lengthening shadows can cause confusion or hallucinations. Closing curtains or pulling shades during this time of day may minimize the problem. 

While diminishing the triggers of sundowning can be a huge relief, sometimes other day-to-day responsibilities can make providing a high level of care challenging. Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Fort Worth families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.

Difficulty with Complex Patterns

Complex or multiple visual patterns are often difficult for the Alzheimer’s brain to interpret. The visual complexity becomes confusing and can interfere with a senior’s ability to think, causing frustration. 

Right Eye Domination

The brain changes that occur in some seniors with Alzheimer’s affect vision by no longer processing the information relayed by the left eye. Family members or caregivers may notice their senior loved ones do not see objects or people to their left, or they might neglect the food on the left side of their plate. Being aware of the deficit enables caregivers to adjust as necessary.

Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Fort Worth, Texas, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. To learn about our revolutionary senior care methods, give Home Care Assistance a call at (817) 349-7599 today.