As you know, dementia changes the way the brain works. It causes memory loss and behavior changes. But, what many people don’t know is that it can also affect the way vision works. It also changes how the brain processes what the eyes see. When people with dementia act strangely, it’s easy to assume they are hallucinating. However, what may actually be going on could be caused by the way their vision has changed. When you understand how vision affects the behavior of an older adult with dementia, you might have an easier time managing difficult behaviors and feel more at ease with what the senior is doing. Below are some of the vision changes that may occur with dementia.
Understanding what is being seen involves much more than simply seeing something and knowing what it is. The eyes take in information and the brain processes it using all kinds of factors, including what the person expects to see and their memories. Damage in the brain can cause the person to experience misperceptions where they see one thing and believe it is something else. For instances, they might see a blue rug and think it is a puddle of water or a coat on a hook and think it’s a person.
Narrowed Field of Vision
Age causes some normal changes to the way people see. One of the things that occurs is the field of vision gets smaller. This means that peripheral vision isn’t as good as it once was, so even without dementia, older adults don’t see as much off to their sides as they used to. The problem is even worse in people with dementia. Their field of vision can narrow to as much as 12 inches, which is something like spending life looking through a pair of binoculars. Being unable to see well can be frightening and confusing for seniors with dementia, which may make them agitated or anxious.
Lack of Movement
Visual changes can cause seniors with dementia to be unable to detect movement as easily as other people can. As a result, the world around them might appear in something like a series of still photographs instead of the movement most of us see like a movie. This can cause them to become confused and lost. It can also make it impossible to follow what is going on in a television program or follow something that is moving quickly.
Home Care can help your aging relative with dementia to deal with visual changes that make their world harder to navigate. A home care provider can reassure the older adult when what they see makes them confused or frightened. In addition, a home care provider can prevent the senior from becoming lost.
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