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How Alzheimer’s Disease Impacts Vision

Older adults may develop cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or other eye diseases as they age. However, Alzheimer’s disease can lead to a different set of visual disorders. The altered perception of the world around them might cause seniors to exhibit unique behaviors. Once caregivers understand how seniors might act in particular circumstances, they can make the necessary environmental changes. Here are a few ways Alzheimer’s disease impacts a senior’s vision.

Diminished Depth Perception

It is not uncommon for seniors with Alzheimer’s to gradually lose their depth perception. Judging distances may become difficult, and seniors might not be able to distinguish a three-dimensional image from a two-dimensional image. A different colored border around flooring or carpet might be perceived as a step down or up. On the other hand, seniors with Alzheimer’s may not be able to recognize actual steps. Different colors on steps could prevent a fall. Avoid carpets and furniture with dark borders and choose solid colors with little to no patterns for carpets, drapes, and upholstery.

Alzheimer’s disease leads to cognitive decline, which can adversely affect your loved one’s quality of life. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Anchorage in-home care. Services our caregivers provide include transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

Reduced Field of Vision

Seniors may experience gradually diminishing visual fields due to certain conditions that develop in the eye. However, the visual field of seniors with Alzheimer’s may be reduced to the size of a dinner plate or less. Due to the limited vision, seniors may bump into objects within their periphery. Removing possible obstructions could save seniors from injury. Make sure commonly used pathways are free of clutter, and consider increasing the intensity of interior lighting to illuminate the floor.

Loss of Color and Contrast

Seniors with Alzheimer’s may have difficulty seeing certain colors in the spectrum. Blue, green, and purple colors may be difficult for them to recognize, and they may also lose the ability to distinguish between items of similar color. Create higher levels of contrast in their environment to help them recognize objects. Dark-colored walls in bathrooms enable seniors to easily recognize the sink, toilet, and tub. Tablecloths that are lighter or darker in contrast compared to floors prevents collision mishaps. Consider using dinnerware toward the red end of the color spectrum to help seniors see the food in bowls and on plates.

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be overwhelming at times. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Anchorage, AK, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

Difficulty Tracking Motion

Under normal conditions, seniors can watch an object move seamlessly from one location to another. Seniors with Alzheimer’s tend to view motion as a series of stationary or lagging images, which becomes challenging when they’re trying to watch TV or drive a car.

Seniors over the age of 65 should undergo annual eye exams. Routine checkups are particularly important for those with Alzheimer’s. An awareness of visual changes enables family members to make alterations as needed. Early detection and treatment of changes secondary to aging can minimize visual disturbance complications.

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. Anchorage, AK, 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. If your loved one needs assistance managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, call Home Care Assistance at (907) 770-0907 today.