Dementia is most commonly associated with mental symptoms such as confusion and memory loss. However, it can also cause issues with how seniors move around and interact with the world around them. A senior with dementia-related visual-spatial problems may knock over cups, trip over steps, and even have difficulty with simple tasks such as getting dressed. Like many other dementia-related symptoms, these challenges can be caused by several different factors. These are the five most common causes of visual-spatial problems in dementia you need to watch out for as a family caregiver.
1. Vision Loss
A person’s symptoms of dementia are often determined by the locations in the brain that are most affected. In some cases, dementia attacks the parts of the brain that help seniors process what they see. While his or her eyes may technically work properly, your loved one may describe seeing darkness, shadows, and other visual abnormalities, which interferes with being able to see things such as stairs.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care Des Moines, IA, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
2. Degenerating Brain Cells
Dementia also causes the brain cells to gradually degrade. In some types of dementia, lesions develop in the brain. These lesions can affect the areas of the brain that control visual and spatial awareness. Once these brain cells are gone, it’s difficult to get them back. Help your loved one with things such as taking medication properly to prevent further degeneration within the brain.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
3. Misfires in Cellular Communication
Object recognition and spatial awareness depend on the brain’s cells and nerves being able to work together. Once lesions develop from protein deposits and plaques, it becomes difficult for the brain cells to communicate with each other. For instance, your loved one might see a step, yet his or her brain is unable to send the appropriate signals to the legs to take a step up or down. You may also notice this change as slower reaction times, since it may take longer for the brain cells to get the messages.
4. Inability to Identify Objects
Your loved one’s visual perception may also change if he or she is no longer able to figure out what it is he or she sees. This change in abilities can sometimes occur at such a deep level in the thought process that it may not be readily apparent. For instance, your loved one may see an object in his or her path, but his or her brain doesn’t recognize it as a danger. Seniors with dementia often experience falls due to this issue, which means your loved one may need assistance walking in unfamiliar places to help him or her stay safe.
5. Losing Memories and Body Awareness
Memory loss also affects visual-spatial perception. Over the years, your loved one has honed skills that help him or her understand where his or her body is compared to other objects. Now that memory loss is occurring, your loved one may no longer recall how to handle situations in which he or she needs to perceive how objects are located in space.
Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Des Moines families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care. Call us today at (515) 264-2438 to learn about our high-quality in-home dementia care services.