Dementia and eyesight-common changes and behaviors

Sometimes, the behavior of a resident with BPSD can be attributed to his/her changing vision as the dementia worsens.

Check out this brief video (see link below from featuring Teepa Snow as she discusses how a person’s vision changes over time with aging and dementia. Keep this information in mind as you work with your residents, as you can better understand their perspective with regards to what they are and aren’t seeing.

Teepa’s points include:

  • By the time we are 75 years old, normal age-related changes can reduce our peripheral vision a little bit, so we’re not able to see and notice as much as we would when we are younger.
  • When someone has dementia, their field of vision narrows to about 12 inches around.
  • As dementia advances, the brain relies on information coming from just one eye, as the information coming in through two eyes is too overwhelming. This results in loss of depth perception. A person can’t tell if something is two-dimensional or three-dimensional, making it difficult to know if something is a pattern in the carpet or an object on the floor; a real apple or picture of an apple; or how high a chair is. Think about how this can affect behavior in significant ways.


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