Dementia can affect more than just memory. It can also affect visual-spatial skills. Visual-spatial abilities allow seniors to see and comprehend the things around them, including the location and size of objects, which means aging adults with visual-spatial problems may have a difficult time driving, perceiving depth, reading, and locating objects. There are several ways dementia can cause these problems.
1. Memory Loss
Dementia may affect the things your senior loved one has learned throughout life, such as writing and reading. Memory loss can make it difficult to comprehend the things he or she is reading. As memory loss progresses, your loved one may have a difficult time being able to draw on previous information in a book. If your loved one enjoys reading and is experiencing memory loss, he or she doesn’t have to give it up. Specially designed reading material for seniors with dementia or audiobooks can help.
2. Degeneration of Brain Tissue and Nerve Pathways
As dementia progresses, it eventually causes brain tissue to degenerate as nerve cells and nerve pathways become muddled. As the brain degenerates, depth perception is affected, which can make it difficult to navigate a set of stairs or pick up items from the table or floor, increasing the risk of a fall.
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 homecare families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
3. Loss of Blood Supply
Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia. In vascular dementia, the brain doesn’t receive the supply of blood it needs for a period of time due to a blood clot (stroke). The loss of blood supply can cause parts of the brain to no longer work as they once did. If the frontal or temporal lobes experienced a loss of blood supply during a stroke, your loved one’s visuospatial abilities may weaken.
4. Medication Side Effects
The prescription medications your loved one takes to help with dementia can affect visual-spatial awareness and cause wandering. For example, your loved one may get lost on the way to the park even though he or she has walked to the park hundreds of times before. He or she may forget where the restroom is in the home or may walk out the front door. Talk with your loved one’s doctor about changing the medications if wandering becomes a safety issue.
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 West Hartford 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.
5. Brain Communication Problems
Visual-spatial abilities require the brain to communicate with the eyes and nerves. As the brain degenerates, this communication becomes disrupted, which can make it difficult to remember where objects should be located. For example, many seniors with dementia may place food in a cupboard instead of the refrigerator or be unable to find their clothes in the closet.
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. West Hartford 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. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (860) 372-4500.