In this final video exploring dementia for Awareness Week, Gina Cooper looks at how people’s perceptions and how they see the world can be changed by the syndrome.
The Alzheimer’s Society describe sight as a ‘complicated process that involves many different stages.’ The specific problems that can occur in dementia patients vary between people.
However, common problems include people misidentifying objects or people, seeing things such as faces in patterned curtains or seeing a ‘best guess’ at the inaccurate or distorted picture that is sent from the eyes.
With a black map on the floor, Gina Cooper says: “I know this is a black mat…but for somebody with dementia, this could look like a big hole.”
If they believe it to be a hole they won’t be able to step on it however much someone says it’s safe.
If you see someone getting very upset because they can’t go through a doorway, this could be the reason. “Have a look around and think what that thing could be. Is the colour of the carpet blue? Do they think they’re walking into water?
“Don’t stop and stare. Ask the person they are with if there is anything you can do to help.
Gina notes that another common occurrence reported by people with dementia is that a stranger is in their house: “If your mum or dad think they’re in their 40s and they look in a mirror and see someone in their 80s, they’re going to think that it’s a stranger.”