How Does Alzheimer’s Disease Affect the Eyes?

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How Alzheimer's Disease Affects Vision in Edmonton, AB

Many people aren’t 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 aging loved one’s safety.

Abnormal Depth Perception 

It’s 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 need help addressing his or her care needs, consider hiring an in-home caregiver. Families looking for top-rated elderly home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

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’re 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 colour 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 coloured floors or carpets may not be easily seen and could pose a hazard if they become rumpled. A glass filled with a beverage that’s a similar colour as that of a tablecloth may also not be distinguishable. The senior may not drink the beverage, or he or she could accidentally spill it.

There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Edmonton home care service provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

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 the light bulbs in and around a senior’s home.

Confusion Due to Glare & Shadows 

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

Difficulty with Complex Patterns

Complex or multiple visual patterns are often difficult for the brain of a senior with Alzheimer’s 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 don’t see objects or people to their left, or they might neglect the food on the left side of their plates. Being aware of the deficit enables caregivers to adjust as necessary. 

If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Edmonton seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that promotes cognitive health and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to. Schedule a free in-home consultation by giving us a call today at (780) 490-7337.


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