How Changes in Vision may be Affecting Your Parent with Alzheimer’s

The process of seeing involves complex electrical impulses that begin with the eyes and end with the brain. Due to the changes occurring in your parent’s brain from having Alzheimer’s disease, their vision may become distorted and result in seeing things that aren’t really there, although they appear quite real to your parent.

Homecare Pittsford NY - How Changes in Vision may be Affecting Your Parent with Alzheimer’s

Homecare Pittsford NY – How Changes in Vision may be Affecting Your Parent with Alzheimer’s

The Changes Taking Place

Your parent may be seeing a distortion of reality. For instance, the patterns or type of fabric may create the image of a face or animal for your parent. This distortion can lead to your parent guessing at what they are seeing. A shadow may appear to be a hole on the floor.

In addition to having problems coming up with the right word, they may eventually experience problems identifying objects and people. This is when they mistake family members for each other or have a difficult time differentiating from one to another.

Some people experience motion blindness. Their world becomes a series of still frames instead of the moving motion picture that most people see. It’s believed that this may be part of the problem that leads to those with dementia getting lost in familiar locations.

Contrasting colors as well as colors in the blue-violet range may become difficult to detect. This leads to individuals having a difficult time differentiating between objects if they are all one color. For instance, they may not be able to see the white mashed potatoes on the white plate.

How to Help

Knowing what your loved one is going through can help you make changes in their environment that will make it easier for them to perceive their surroundings correctly. This includes:

  • Take a fresh look at their home from your loved one’s perspective. Are there areas with little contrasting color? Consider painting certain walls, baseboards or door frames. Red may be easier for most people to see. Look at their bathroom. Is everything white? Bring contrast to the room, toilet and shower as well as towels and towel racks.
  • Make sure your parent’s home is well lit. Add more lights and reduce glare by making sure all lamps have a shade. Install blinds which make it easier to control both lighting and glare.
  • Painting the edge of stairs a contrasting color is very important to your parent’s safety.

Knowing the changes occurring in your parent’s brain and eyes can help you see from their perspective. Routine is extremely helpful to a person whose world is undergoing daily changes. Keeping them in calm environments away from too much stimulus or noise also helps keep them safe and less agitated.

Homecare Provider

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be incredibly rewarding while at the same time requiring a large amount of energy. Be sure to replenish yours along the way. A homecare provider can assist with the everyday tasks of living as well as provide the companionship so important to a loved one undergoing the effects of dementia.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Pittsford NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.

John Hunt