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HOME / people living with dementia / Managing symptoms and changes / 3.2 Memory, thinking and perception difficulties
memory strategies

3.2 Memory, thinking and perception difficulties

Strategies, therapies, and medications to help with memory and thinking difficulties

Difficulties with memory or thinking are common symptoms of dementia. Thinking difficulties make it harder for people with dementia to go about their lives.

Therapies such as brain training are meant to improve your memory and thinking. Strategies such as using a calendar and therapies such as occupational therapy help to minimize the impact of thinking difficulties on your day-to-day life.  

Sensory perception

One aspect of thinking that is affected by dementia is sensory perceptionFor some people, dementia damages the part of the brain that interprets information coming from the eyes. 

  • Your eyesight might be fine, but your brain may have difficulty converting the signals from your eyes into a meaningful picture.
  • You might experience trouble with depth perception – i.e., judging how far away something is, or how deep a step is.
  • You might have trouble picking out an object from its background, particularly if it’s the same colour, if there is a shadow, or if the background is patterned.
  • You may also have difficulty interpreting information when there is a mirror, reflections from wet or shiny surfaces, or glare.  

Agnes Houston, a person living with dementia, wrote about her own and others’ experiences of sensory perception with dementia and provides suggestions on how to manage