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Going beyond the alphabet

Finding a better way to implement our charts...

For many of us, reciting the alphabet is something we have been able to do with great ease from a very early age.

It was quite literally easy as ABC!

Ever since those early days, where you would recall each letter with pride, it has remained a fundamental part of being able to understand and communicate within the English language.

It is also something we can easily take for granted and something which sadly can become difficult for those living with dementia.

When it came down to developing our dementia sight test, this was an early obstacle we were faced with.

Dementia itself is a progressive condition which can include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language.

This can make the world a confusing place for the person as they struggle to interpret what is happening around them.

A common symptom of dementia is to experience problems with being able to recognise faces and everyday symbols.

For many, letters become incredibly hard to recognise, and this can prove challenging for sight tests using a letter chart.

Our solution was to include a range of symbols including letters, numbers and unique shapes on our letter chart.


We often learn numbers at an early stage in life, and some experts believe that we can retain our ability to recognise them the longest– even with dementia.

Including more than one type of symbol means we are ready to deal with the varied requirements which may present themselves for letter chart testing.

This simple but effective solution means that a person with dementia will always have the means to be tested by one of our opticians – an aim which remains essential to Visioncall.

Using a letter chart as part of the dementia sight test is just one of the many methods we employ to correctly test the person’s vision.

It is a subjective test, meaning we require a response from the person, and if they cannot recognise letters then it can become a source of frustration and distress.

Providing alternatives on our letter chart makes the sight test easier to participate in for the person.

While a small addition, it has certainly helped to make a world of difference for many who have undergone a dementia sight test.

Thanks to this it means that ABC can very much be as easy as 123!