As Alzheimer’s Disease progresses, people lose their peripheral vision. The impact of being able to see only what is directly in front of them shrinks their world and makes the activities that are happening around them even more confusing and frightening.
If you want to see what this is like, try cupping your hands around your eyes like a set of binoculars. Now imagine how startling it would be if someone you hadn’t heard or seen suddenly put a hand on your shoulder.
There isn’t anything you can do to stop the progression of the disease, but you can reduce the stress for your care receiver by always approaching them from the front. Make sure they see you coming. When you get close, if you will kneel or sit so you are at or below their eye level, they will feel less threatened.
A simple thing like approaching them with care, could decrease their stress. When they are feeling safe and calm, they’ll be less likely to have angry outbursts, and that could make your job as a caregiver a whole lot easier.