My 92 year old Mom is in NH with probably mid-late stage dementia. She has had very poor vision in her Right eye for years after shingles on her face 40 years ago. Her vision was very blurry and not correctable, but she lived with it fine and left eye was good. Last August she got shingles again on her face. (Make sure you all get your shingles vaccine!) At that point she could still read the eye chart at her private pay eye Drs office. On and off after that she suffered from what I called either “visual disturbances” or down-right hallucinations due to UTIs and med side effects. We have since gotten past these. In January the NH eye doctor told me very matter of factly that she had “sometime lately” had an optic nerve stroke in the previously good Left eye and probably couldn’t see anything out of it. It could have been caused by the shingles infection, but who knows. She sometimes now tells me it’s “dark in here” or “I wish I could see your face”. I try to humor her by saying I’ll open up the shades, or console her with I know you can’t see very well, and put her hand on my face. Then that’s the end of it. And all her aides now know that she can’t see who’s talking to her, or where she is, or where they’re taking her, and she is much more dependent than before this vision loss. So they have to explain things in detail. Again. And Again.
Is anyone here familiar with an optic nerve stoke and could there be any vision left in the eye?
How/ what to say to Mom so she doesn’t freak out, when she says things like I wish I could see you. I don’t want to depress her, since she seems to have taken this in stride and doesn’t really complain about it other than the few random comments. Is there something else I could say to her? I cannot imagine her confusion. Yet she’s still singing and happy, and I’m trying to keep it that way.