How Important is an Eye Exam if Your Mom Has Alzheimer's?

August 12, 2020

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As your mom's medical POA, you're the one who escorts her to medical appointments. She doesn't make it easy, so you're trying to limit the number of appointments she has. She doesn't like to go in the car. She hates leaving her house. She struggles to communicate, and the frustration has her lashing out at you. 


Is an eye exam important after an Alzheimer's diagnosis or could you start skipping that appointment? There's no right or wrong answer. You can try these steps to see if it makes an appointment easier. 


Talk to the Doctor Before You Make an Appointment  

Talk to the doctor before you make an appointment. Some doctors have never had a patient with dementia and aren't sure how to manage the fear, frustration, and confusion. Others have had some exposure through a parent or grandparent and have some experience when it comes to interactions. 


Ideally, you want a doctor who has had some experience. Limited experience is better than nothing. It helps to have a medical professional who can read the cues and work at your dad's pace. 


Don't Expect Things to Go Smoothly 

The eye exam may go well. It may be filled with one obstacle after the other. If you run into one of those days where your mom is argumentative and easily frustrated, don't push tests she isn't willing to undergo.  


For example, if she won't sit still while eye drops are put in her eyes, skip that part of the test. It is important, sure, but it's not worth making her scared and uncomfortable. It's better to call it quits for the day and hope enough was done that she can get an updated prescription if necessary.  


How Much Does She Wear Her Glasses? 

There does come a point where people with dementia stop wearing their glasses. They forget to put them on or lose them. If your mom is at that point, talk to her eye doctor. It may be pointless paying for new eyeglasses if she's not wearing them anyway. 


Make sure you have back up as a family carer. Even on the best day, caring for a parent with Alzheimer's can challenge your emotional and mental health. You need to take breaks as often as possible.  


While you go out for a walk, take a nap, or run errands, senior care aides can keep your mom company, clean the house, and make sure she's safe. Talk to a senior care agency about respite care. 


If you or your loved one is looking for Senior Care in San Jose, CA, please call Familiar Surroundings Home Care. 

Santa Clara County: (408) 979-9990  

San Mateo County: (650) 353-9777 

Santa Cruz County: (831) 480-3990 

Tags:Eye ExamsSenior Care San Jose