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83yo… moderate vascular dementia due to multiple strokes… lives with me currently but will be moving to assisted living at end of summer… lots of behavioral issues that I deal with via "tough love"… most bad behavior just an extension of life-long mental illness and total self-centeredness…nothing new there…

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My mom won't look at me when she wants to ignore me or is focused on something more important to her plus she is extremely hard of hearing and gets mad when I don't bend over to her good ear
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To all who asked questions relating to the five senses, at least three of them in elders are impaired and they are vision (the most common reason is macular degeneraton-bear in mind that there are two kinds of this, e.g. wet or dry), hearing and olfactory, e.g, sense of smell. Thus far in this journey called life I have not heard of any elder losing the fourth sense, which would be sense if touch (I suppose it's possible, though). Nor have I heard about loss of taste.
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when i am speaking to my mother i noticed that she does not look at me,is it normal for a dementa patient
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Is she always turning the same ear towards the speaker? Could be she hears better on one side and turns to listen. Or as above, she can only see out the side. Vascular dementia has left my MIL very frustrated, she wanted new glasses because hers were "no good". The eye doctor apologetically told her he can't improve her vision, the mini strokes have taken their toll.
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Mom recently saw her primary care and all is stable, hearing test went well, and recently saw her eye doctor and her acuity is fine, have been told by all three is behavioral… as for the "tough love", if I don't keep really firm boundaries and house rules in place, she wrecks havoc in our household… she thrives on drama and if there is none, goes out of her way to create it… I understand she has dementia and that makes her live difficult but she is still "with it" enough to understand what is unacceptable and implement it to try to manipulate the situation… other times, our days are great… just wondered what might be behind the lack of looking at people trying to talk to her… thanks for the input
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are you sure she is hearing them?? she may be hard of hearing
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Just had her to eye doctor. She did fine with the charts and exam. This is not a daily thing. Just every so often. She will see him once a year just in case something pops up.
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Sounds like she may need a full medical workup, medications may help with the behaviors but if she has some vision or hearing issues she may not look at who is speaking. Also dementia can cause changes in a person including looking at people when they speak, disruptive behaviors and their ability to communicate effectively.
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JoAnn29 - I would suspect she has macular degeneration... :( As Llamalover47 said, their central vision is messed up, so maybe she can see better from the side.
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Patrice2oz: Answer=she may have macular degeneration and thus, not be able to see you or where you are. In cases of MD, a person's central vision is blacked out. They cannot see a person's face, even close up. How do I know this? My mmother suffered from MD.
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My Mom claims she needs new glasses. Took her for an exam. She had cateract surgery a few years back. The doctor told her she would have no eye change because of the surgery. He told me it was the dementia. One day I found her sitting on her bed watching TV. This is off to the side of her TV. When asked why she was on the bed she said she couldn't see the people on the TV from her chair that is in front of it. She saw it better on the angle. I had no problem.
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I've noticed this a little bit too with different elders. My guess is that they are concentrating hard on what it is that they want to say, or ask you before you leave. Afraid they'll forget, so only 1/2 listening while you address the last issue, waiting to bring a new issue to your attention. I go silent when that happens, after a few seconds a question about the mail, an insurance bill, a Dr., pops up. :-)
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My mom has macular degeneration, and before her dementia got really bad, she said people looked very scary like they were wearing a Halloween mask. Their faces were all distorted. This caused her to not make eye contact.
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I believe that they do not make eye contact when people are speaking to them is because they do not understand they are being spoken to, nor do they understand the conversation. Part of dementia.
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Gaze avoidance is a common reaction to someone who does not want to see the eyes of the person with whom they are speaking. There are studies on this subject with men avoiding gazes the most. That's why women get so frustrated with their husbands/boyfriends who do not look them in the eyes when they are talking. Do not "blame" a person with a mental illness as they are blameless. Seek more understanding and continue to be loving without the "tough".
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I have just recently realized my father does the same thing and has for a while. I have to touch his shoulder to get his attention, keep calling him by name, asking him to please look at me. It is hard to stand directly in front of him since he is bed-ridden and I would have to stand at the foot of the bed to face him, which would then mean yelling (he is hard of hearing). I wonder how many other family members are having the same issue? Would love to se more replies to this thread.
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Perhaps medication would help with the behavior issues? It did for Mom under similar circumstances. But the emphasis here is on HELPED because she still has the same personality disorders, self-centeredness, etc. Just less intense.
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I realized that my mom could not see you unless you were standing directly in front of her. Think I read somewhere that your vision is affected with dementia.
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