Alzheimer's and Vision
Changes in vision -- and diminished ability to accurately interpret what is seen -- can occur in some people with Alzheimer's disease. These changes are due to changes in the brain, not the eyes. Using contrasting colors to improve depth perception and identification can help prevent injury and reduce confusion.
People with Alzheimer's disease may experience a number of changes in their visual abilities. For example, they may lose their ability to comprehend visual images. Although there is nothing physically wrong with their eyes, people with Alzheimer's disease may no longer be able to accurately interpret what they see due to changes in their brain. Also, their sense of perception and depth may be altered. These changes can cause safety concerns.
Suggestions for dealing with vision issues as Alzheimer's progresses include:
- Create color contrast between floors and walls to help the person see depth. Floor coverings are less visually confusing if they are a solid color.
- Use dishes and placemats in contrasting colors for easier identification.
- Mark the edges of steps with brightly colored strips of tape to outline changes in elevation.
- Place brightly colored signs or simple pictures on important rooms (the bathroom, for example) for easier identification.
- Be aware that a small pet that blends in with the floor or lies in walkways may be a hazard. The person with Alzheimer's disease may trip over a small pet.