Understanding Vision and Perception Problems Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease

Older woman using sighted guide  

November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness and Caregiver month. In this post, we alert you to information on how Alzheimer’s disease can alter vision and perception, what type of difficulties this can cause, and how to support and care for the person experiencing these disturbances. Even older adults with low vision or severe vision loss without the additional complications of Alzheimer’s or cognitive problems need special support and accommodations to remain healthy, engaged, and safe in their community, and caregivers may have to step up to the plate and learn what to do to intervene effectively.

Quick Facts About Alzheimer’s Disease

There are many forms of dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of the cases. According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2017 Fact Sheet, one in 10 people in the U.S., age 65 and older, has Alzheimer’s dementia and almost two-thirds are women. It has risen to the fifth-leading cause of death among those age 65 and older and a leading cause of disability and poor health. The numbers are growing fast, and there still is no cure.

The Impact on Caregivers

Alzheimer’s dementia is a complex disease and presents a wide variety of challenges for caregivers. It takes a devastating toll on families. Twice as many caregivers of people with dementia report substantial emotional, financial, and physical difficulties compared with caregivers of those without dementia. It is essential for caregivers to seek support and resources when caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.

Related Articles

Read my articles on how Alzheimer’s disease affects vision and perception and tips on what caregivers can do to reduce visuoperceptual difficulties and support the person experiencing them.

I have also written Ten Tips for Caregivers and put together a resource list that contains helpful websites and tips to help caregivers.

You might also be interested in my blog post Where to Find Help When Your Loved One Is New to Vision Loss.

Also here is a Resource List for Caregivers.