Sight issues and memory problems

sheepfield

Registered User
Feb 4, 2024
157
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My family member is waiting for cataract surgery but wasn't able to have the local anaesthetic surgery as they couldn't follow the instructions to stay still, look at the light etc. I guess that it was a combination of being deaf as well as confused that made following the instructions not possible.
I also guess that the lack of input from the eyes increases their disorientation and confusion. Of course they told the optometrist that they had no vision problems too!
My family member will probably have to wait many more months for cataract removal, with potential consequences for speeding up memory loss.
Most people's vision changes as they age and I'm wondering if there's anything that I can do to help my family member with this common combination of vision loss and memory loss. For example perhaps they can't see that their flat is quite dirty and they won't let me clean, 'I'll do it tomorrow'.
I guess that they can't see to read reminders for things like how to answer the intercom or perhaps they can't understand the simple pictures that I drew. Or they feel that they don't want a reminder. I've noticed a bit of irritability and taking offence in their personality which I guess is down to dementia.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
81,710
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Kent
Hello @sheepfield

When I returned home after cataract surgery I couldn't believe how much I had missed when giving the house a `good clean` prior to surgery.

Dementia and cataracts will not enable your family member to register the state of her home.

If you want to help, perhaps you could do so unobtrusively and without mentioning it. It`s not difficult to wipe round the kitchen surfaces after making a snack or cleaning the bathroom after you use it.
 

sheepfield

Registered User
Feb 4, 2024
157
0
Hello!
Thank you for your reply, I thought that I had posted a reply too but maybe I jabbed the wrong part of the screen. I also have vision issues!
Sadly the kitchen and bathroom are full of clutter that my mother in law has started to hoard but I try to spirit that away item by item and wipe round. The only other room is ankle deep in dust and I've been advised by someone from the sensory team to vacuum regardless of my mother in law's wishes. She has agreed to consider hiring a regular professional cleaner but I'm expected to do a deep clean beforehand! I already struggle to clean up after my autistic husband, who doesn't realise how dirty his habits are.
But that's straying off the topic. I'm going to take my vacuum cleaner tomorrow and do it after the social worker has visited and we can hopefully both reassure her that it's to do with the regular cleaner that she expressed an interest in.
I used to work as a home help but my customers had already had that tricky conversation with their families to gain consent to help with the housework. They'd often say 'it's not that dirty is it' and comment on how long I took to do things but of course couldn't register that things were in fact dirtier than they could see or understand.
I don't think that my mother in law would accept me making her meals, changing her bedding etc as I did for my customers though she does seem keener on suggestions from professionals like the sensory needs person.
 

sheepfield

Registered User
Feb 4, 2024
157
0
The vacuuming has been done! Mother in law was appreciative and not offended. I think that she couldn't see how dusty it had got so wasn't mortified or embarrassed so that's good.
 

sheepfield

Registered User
Feb 4, 2024
157
0
Just an update: there is no start date yet for social care as there's no capacity says the social worker, who suggested that we contact the Community Meals Service, which doesn't need a referral. I'm not sure how someone who is deafblind and only appears to respond to suggestions from professionals is meant to contact them and arrange meals on wheels for herself.
The social worker suggested that I could show my mother in law the webpage on my tablet but she doesn't listen to suggestions from me and had no clue what I was trying to tell her today, and might not be able to see the screen very well either.
We didn't get chance to try the tablet today as she was upset by having a visit from the fire brigade. She hoards food in the oven and presumably could not see it when she put food in to cook. So her flat was full of smoke from the smouldering contents of the oven that she also presumably could not see.
It's so frustrating and upsetting.
 

sheepfield

Registered User
Feb 4, 2024
157
0
@Grannie G thank you for your reply by the way. I've been so busy I haven't had much chance to reflect and thank people.
I've been having fun cleaning out cupboards trying to be unobtrusive and gradual then when questioned about her medication, my mother in law accused me of throwing it away!
All part of dementia I guess, it's just a bit of a shock these first few times to be accused of things I haven't done. Also fascinating how the dementia brain understands things and makes things up to fill in the gaps x