Never Too Late - July 2023

Dementia Capable Southern Arizo na

In partnership with Senior Pride 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month 10–11am July 12 & 26 600 S. Country Club Rd. Tucson, AZ 85716 Point of contact – Nicole Thomas at (520) 790-7573 x1739 or nthomas@ To register , visit https://cafeatthekatie. Aging changes our eyes and our brains. Changes in the brain due to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia can affect the way our brain processes visual information and alter our perception of the world or our ability to understand it. For those living with dementia there are two common challenges with seeing and interpreting information - misperceptions and misidentifications. Misidentification is caused by damage to specific parts of the brain and can lead to problems identifying specific people and objects, such as mistaking a TV remote for a cell phone. Misperception is seeing one thing and interpreting it as another and is frequently seen with flooring and items on the ground. For example, someone living with dementia may perceive: • A blue rug to be water. • Green carpet to be grass. • Reflective floors to be wet. • A black welcome mat to be a hole. • A change from wood to carpet to be a step.

slippery and not a similar color to the walls. • When possible, use one uniform type of flooring throughout the entire house. • Use dishes that contrast to the table and food. Red is highly recommended for those living with dementia. • Avoid too many patterns. Peripheral vision is often affected as well, and people’s movements can also be misinterpreted, so there are changes you can make in your approach as well to decrease the likelihood of startling or causing agitation for the person with dementia. • Approach from the front. • Move slowly as you walk toward them (1 second, 1 step is a good guide). • Get to eye level to speak, by kneeling or sitting next to them about an arm’s length away. • Identify yourself before speaking. • Explain what is going to happen next. • Announce when you or someone else is leaving or entering the room.

These perceptions can cause difficulties walking or the ability to avoid those areas. This is one of the reasons that people living with dementia are at a higher fall risk.

Memory concerns? Call the PCOA Helpline at

What can you do to help those living with dementia have an easier time navigating the space around them? • Be sure all areas are well-lit and consider motion-activated lighting. • Label rooms and areas such as cabinets with large print or symbols. • Use colors for items like banisters, doors, toilet seats, and furniture that contrasts with floors and walls. • Use flooring that is not shiny or (520) 790-7262 or visit our website to complete a referral form online https://

In partnership with Posada Life Community Services 3rd Saturday of each month 1–2pm July 16 Posada Life Community Center 780 S. Park Centre Ave. Green Valley, AZ 85614 Point of contact – Ellen March at (520) 393-6840 or

In partnership with AARP Arizona 4th Friday of each month 10–11:30am July 28 AARP Tucson Office 6700 N. Oracle Rd. Suite 331 Tucson, AZ 85704 Point of contact – Aaron Wodka at (520) 730-1170 or

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Pima Council on Aging

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