3. Practical advice and tips for carers > Perceptual Problems

Perceptual Problems

5) Inattention or Neglect

The person appears to be unaware the affected side of the body and the space around them on the affected side. They may sit facing away from the affected side of the body.For example if the affected side is on the left, the person will sit with their head turned to the right.  Sensation or what the person is feeling maybe damaged on the affected side. Inattention or neglect is more often seen in people who’s left side is affected but it can occur on the right.

Inattention or Neglect is different from homonymous hemianopia. ( See section on visual problems) The eyes may be normal but the way information is being processed by the brain is not. Inattention or neglect is more difficult to compensate for or adapt to as the person may be totally unaware of the problem. It is almost as if one half of their world no longer exists.

They may comb only half of their hair or consistently only attempt to shave the unaffected side of the face. Sometimes the person may only eat half the food on their plate. They may hear you approaching on the affected side but not see you until you are in line with their unaffected side.

Inattention or neglect affects all aspects of the person’s life. If they have neglect they will be unable to drive and will need help in daily tasks. The simulation below shows how the person with inattention or neglect would see the road and the dangers for someone driving.

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