The golden years can sometimes seem as though they glimmer less as a person’s senses begin to fade. Changes in a person’s five senses tend to arise from several different factors, including changes in how the nerves communicate with the brain. There can also be physical alterations to the body parts used for sensing things in the environment, such as what could happen if the ears are exposed to trauma. Understanding how the five senses change can help seniors make accommodations that allow them to get more satisfaction out of life.
1. The Sense of Smell Diminishes
There might be times when you wish you could lose your sense of smell, such as when you’re changing a baby’s diaper. However, seniors who begin to lose their sense of smell also face a serious safety risk. For instance, they won’t be able to smell something burning if a fire breaks out. You might not be able to do much to stop the loss of the ability to smell, but you can take action to protect your loved one’s safety by making sure there are smoke alarms installed in his or her home.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality in-home care. Waterloo families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
2. Touches Become More Intense
While some senses diminish, the sense of touch tends to increase. Seniors begin to develop thinner skin that’s often more sensitive to common sensations. For instance, a seam in clothing could create serious irritation that causes your loved one to act out. The increased sense of touch is also a good thing. Your loved one can feel you holding his or her hand or stroking his or her hair gently even when he or she may not fully be coherent.
3. Vision Changes Can Reduce the Ability to See
Most people are familiar with the idea that they’ll lose some of their ability to see as they age. Your loved one does have some control over vision loss, which is important for preserving his or her abilities. Help your loved one make it to regular eye exams, and make sure he or she has help managing chronic health conditions that affect vision, such as diabetes and heart disease. Slowing down vision loss means your loved one can enjoy the vibrancy of life for a longer time.
Seniors with significant vision loss may need help to continue living at home safely. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Waterloo Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.
4. Hearing Tends to Slowly Decrease
The sense of hearing can be preserved by being careful to protect the ears. Seniors should get hearing tests regularly to identify changes in their ability to hear. If there’s a problem, modern hearing devices can help them socialize and recognize warning signs of danger, such as a siren. Your loved one can also avoid loud noises by wearing earplugs when exposure is unavoidable.
5. Taste Buds Slowly Lose Their Sharpness
Your loved one might suddenly claim food is flavorless. The sense of taste decreases slowly over time, and people who smoke or drink excessively may notice this happening sooner than those who don’t. You can accommodate for a decreasing sense of taste by flavoring your loved one’s food with fresh spices and herbs. Adding more color to the plate can also make meals more enjoyable.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of senior home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (519) 954-2111.