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My Mom is diagnosed with Cataracts and is having bouts of dementia. She got confused more as she experience the cataracts symptoms and of course, I am very anxious on how I can better help and support her with this condition. Any thoughts? Thank you.

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My husband who has cognitive impairment, had cataract surgery on both eyes, one at a time, and it helped his vision a lot. His temperament, no, his pre-dementia, no help, his other bad habits, no, but vision yes.
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My mother (85 y/o has diabetes) had her cataracts fixed about 3 years ago. It has really improved her quality of life. I truly beleive her improved vision has prevented her from failing which would lead to bone breaks. My husband (early 60s) had his cataracts fixed last year, he loves having 20/20 vision for the first time in his life. I had my cataracts fixed within the past 3 weeks (right eye first, then 2 weeks later, my left eye) and it really is a painless procedure. I feel great and I'm driving already.
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Last year @ the end of summer and in early October my 83 year old mother had outpatient surgery on her eyes ( one @ a time ) for cataracts. Her complication before surgery was that she had had shingles in her one eye and there was slight damage to the eye. This eye was done first for cataracts and healed properly w/ no complications so my mom had the "good" eye done for cataracts. This second eye healed sucessfully also w/ no problems. Mom has better vision than me and has to wear "cheaters" glasses from the drug store for her reading vision. She can watch TV w/o glasses. Truly amazing. The other complication my mother had before surgery was she has glacoma in both eyes. Now when the eye surgeon performs the cataract surgery, during surgery they put drops in the eye that constricts the pupil of the eye for 5 days AFTER surgery. This is done because it has been found that patients WITH glacoma the eye(s) heal better after surgery if this is done. Just a warning because eye doctors say that some patients can see so well AFTER cataract surgery that they can drive themselves home. Well this IS NOT true IF you have glacoma. This was not told to me or my mother or in any of the pre-surgery or after care surgical instructions FROM the eye surgeon. We got worried when my mother's vision had not gotten clear after 2 or 3 days after surgery. Speaking directly with the eye surgeon cleared up this matter but I did tell him that his surgical instructions said nothing about after care for glacoma patients. He apologized on the follow-up visits and said his staff was re-writing his instuction booklet about this matter. So a patient w/glacoma will not see clearly in the operated on eye for 5 days AFTER surgery and needs someone w/them constantly since they cannot see and cannot bend over to pick-up fallen items. Just a warning if the patient suffers from dementia too as this would be upsetting to them also. The cataract surgery is about 30 minutes and painless. Pre-surgery you have to put drops in the eye for 5 days before hand and ointement on the eyelashes to "sanitize" them, plus putting in any eye drops the patient already has been prescribed for any eye problem. Always ask the eye surgeon what medication(s) the patient can or cannot be given the night before or day of surgery. Post surgery eye drops are prescribed and must be put in several times a day to insure that the operated on eye does not get infected and heals properly. My mother was prescribed 3 more sets of drops plus the 2 eye medications for glacoma she already has to put in morning and night so this was 5 different eye drops put into the eyes @ different times of the day. I made a chart so I could keep track of when and what was put into which eye and the amounts and times. Hard for ME to remember, imagine an elderly ,half blind senior remembering and trying to put in all these drops!! Hope this helps but ALWAYS talk w/the eye surgeon about any problems or concerns you have before surgery as they have probably dealt w/any of these issues before in their practice. Ask the nurses for any tips they may have for after care also as they have usually had their own family memebers have catract surgery too and have cared for them themselves.
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My mother (now 81) had cataract surgery on both eyes, one at a time, over the past year. Now her vision is better than mine! Please remember they cannot correct both up-close and distance vision... you have to choose one. We chose correction for distance so that she could see the scenery while out in the car and the tv. You can get inexpensive, over-the-counter reading glasses at nearly any pharmacy such as CVS.
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I would get mom to an eye doctor. If her cataracts require surgery it is normally done outpatient. I would do one eye at a time. I would ask the primary doctor for a full work up to see if the dementia is due to an infection or if her medicines are having an effect on her memory. Some medicines for other conditions have the side effect of leading to confusion.
Elizabeth
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By the way, you should check out if she has a UTI if she is having "bouts" of dementia.
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Both my mother (in her mid 80s) and my husband (in his early 60s) had cataract surgery within the past 3 years. Both of them said it was painless, surgeries were done on an "in & out" basis at an eye surgery center under local anesthesia. They are both thrilled with the results. The surgery resulted in a significant impovement in quality of life for both of them.
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Cataract surgery is relatively simple, painless and compication free these days. Talk to his eye doctor.
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What does the eye doctor recommend?

My husband had dementia when his cataracts were removed. It greatly improved his vision and gave him back the pleasure of reading.
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