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Looking at things


Registered User
Apr 26, 2006
During our holiday last week, Jean had a fall in a Potter Heigham supermarket. Someone had left a folded cardboard box on the floor, Jean has difficulty in discerning things on the floor and consequently tripped on the folded box and fell sideways into an abandoned trolley, travelled a short distance with the trolley and finished up on the floor.

She was shook up and distressed but suffered no physical damage apart from bruising to the leg and upper arm.

To digress slightly from the optical side of things,a number of points arise from the incident:-

1) Should I sue for damages? I have decided not to on the grounds that a) there are no lasting injuries and her recovery was very quick, b) I suspect that, due to the advanced state of her Alzheimers disease, walking on different surfaces does cause problems and would reduce any payment that may be made regarding compensation, c) as her main and only carer, it was my responsibility to ensure that she came to no harm whilst in my care.

2) The fact that Jean is bruised in a couple of places has caused me some concern in that the bruises are visible when toileting and wearing short sleeved summery tops. I know, that when she attends daycentre, these bruises will be seen and noted by the staff there and, therefore, explained to the staff what had happened and supplied full details. The trouble is that I got the impression that they were thinking, “I have heard these excuses before. We had better keep an eye on you in the future.”

3) Full details of the incident were recorded by the store First Aid representative who, contrary to all First Aid teachings, tried to lift Jean by holding under her arms. What do they teach these people nowadays?

When we arrived home from holiday an appointment with an optician was made for her 2 yearly eye test. Jean wears bifocal lenses all the time and I naturally assumed that the same lenses would be supplied this time.

The optician asked the following questions:-
a) Can Jean read? No.
b) Can Jean write? No
c) Does Jean see the food on her plate? No – she has to be hand fed.
d) Does she have difficulty in negotiating pavement edges and steps in general? It’s a bloody nightmare trying to get her over the doorstep and pavement edges are like mountain sides.

So, what does she need bifocals for? ‘Doh’.

Is it possible that I have assumed that the disease is causing the walking difficulties when, in fact, it may be that she is looking down with her eyes without moving her head and looking through the reading lenses and not the distance lenses?

The next set of spectacles she gets will be distance only, we can always change them if necessary.

I wondered if anyone else had come across this sort of thing before?


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Grommit - I don't know whether this is relevant, but when my optician tried to put me in trifocals I broke my ankle as the ground as I saw it and the ground as it actually was were about 3 inches apart, hence the fall.


Registered User
Jan 14, 2010
East Kent
Hi Grommet
I think under the circumstances you are wise to change to distance only glasses , it will eliminate one potential problem .

I once had a badly measured pair of bifocals which caused me no end of problems especially going up and downstairs


Account Closed
Jul 16, 2008

Distance lenses/specs sounds a good idea to me, so I agree with lin1 there, especially if Jean can't/doesn't need/try to read anything. And yes, it's poss that the bifocals and lack of head moving, or rather neck moving, could have contributed to stumblings/falls.

I've worn graduated or progressive lenses for years now - trifocals with knobs on, even! (And progressive in the cost department too!!) No problems at all - they took a day or two to get used to, but since then, I've never looked back! (If you forgive the pun!) Walk lots, drive as needed, read more than lots - no probs. But I don't have dementia, so I think your optometrist asked the right questions.

PS. Nos 2 & 3 of your posts would cause me more concern than the optician's decision! Don't sue - but try to get a written 'something' from the supermarket's First Aid rep, just in case you are at any point in the future challenged by 'anyone' about bruises.


Registered User
Apr 26, 2006
Good thinking JPG.

As it happens I have two witnesses who are members of another Website and with whom Jean and I had just met for tea and biscuits. If anything arises from the bruising, i can call on them to help.

Taking photographs would also be a good idea but, not having a camera and not being computer literate to any great extent, I am not likely to get one in the near future.


Registered User
Mar 31, 2010
Grommit, hi
If you can get to a shop that sells single use cameras, chemist, supermarket, some corner shops, then do, you can get the pictures processed and have hard copies and a CD made of the pictures. As insurance it might be worthwhile and you might find them fun for other things too.
Take very good care of yourself, you are doing such a wonderful job, with kind regards from Jo


Registered User
Mar 19, 2005
Hi Grommit

I find it infuriating that you even have to think about covering yourself or having proof of your stories. The people at the day center are surely aware of the mobility problems associated with AD and they shouldn't be making you feel guilty. The fact that the bruises are in plain sight should be a clue. I know exactly what you mean though; having children I find myself constantly explaining the bumps and bruises and scratches. The fact is, they are living beings who don't sit in a box all day and accidents happen.

The shop was negligent leaving a box lying around, and you should at least put in a form of complaint as this could have resulted in a serious injury regardless of whether it was the glasses or not.

As for the first aider lifting under the arms, the staff in Dad's nursing home still do this on a regular basis with many of their residents (even the trained senior nurse) so it doesn't surprise me.

Take care

Kate x.