PEOPLE with dementia may also suffer sight loss that goes undetected because they are unable to communicate that something is wrong, campaigners have warned.
Alzheimer Scotland and the Royal National Institute for Blind People Scotland said carers and health workers may attribute any problems to the mental condition of dementia patients rather than putting it down to sight loss.
The charities are launching a new booklet – Dementia and Sight Loss – to try to tackle the problem.
The new advice booklet explains how to detect the first signs that something may be wrong with a patient’s sight.
Linda Mitchell, of RNIB Scotland, said: “Dementia can affect sight as it is experienced by the brain, even though the eyes are perfectly healthy. The problem is how people perceive what they see rather than how sharply they are seeing it.”
Kirsty Yanik, from Alzheimer Scotland, said: “Some unusual behaviour may simply be a reaction to sight loss. You may notice the person you care for becoming uncommunicative, confused and disorientated or being clumsy or falling more. Sight loss could be contributing to increased confusion.”