Aging brings about a few unexpected changes. One of those things you may not realize is that your senses can change. As the senses diminish, your parent may be able to stop negative effects some of the time, but it’s not always possible. Here are some of the ways the senses change.
Vision differences can be an issue, but glasses and contacts help prevent blurriness. Weakening eye muscles may impact vision. This is easily corrected through prescription eye wear. Yearly eye exams can make sure your parent is seeing clearly.
Several medical conditions are more prevalent in senior citizens. They include cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and retinopathy that’s often the result of high blood pressure or diabetes.
Some of these conditions can be corrected through surgeries or medications. For example, if glaucoma is diagnosed, medications that lower the pressure of fluid in the eye can help treat the disease. Diet can help with some forms of macular degeneration. Proper monitoring of blood sugar levels is important if you have diabetic retinopathy.
Hearing loss is also common in some, but it’s improved through the use of hearing aids or removing a build-up of wax within the ear. While hearing loss can impact driving abilities and socialization, there’s another risk people don’t think of. Ears are essential to balance. Hairs and fluid found in the inner ear help the brain and body with balance. If there are issues, hearing isn’t the only thing affected, your parent may start dealing with balance issues. This increases the risk of a fall.
If your parent is struggling with balance, have the ears checked. If your parent has a hard time hearing you, visit the doctor for a hearing test. It’s best to get a diagnosis and treatment as early as possible.
Taste and Smell
Taste and smell are two senses that people don’t often think about as being affected. They can change as you age. Weakening taste and smell can make meals less appealing.
Cells regenerate slower as you age. The quantity of taste buds on your tongue decrease. Flavors that your parent used to love may become unappealing. The way foods smell is the job of the nose. Mucus traps the scent of foods so that the nerves that detect smell can work with the brain to process the smells. Medications can also impact how foods taste and smell.
As foods taste different and smell unappealing, your parent may refuse to eat meals that he or she once loved. You may find your mom suddenly hates beef, and your dad can’t stand garlic anymore. You will need to work with your parent to find foods that are appealing.
Caregivers can help your parents explore new foods and herbs. They can take your parent shopping and help in the garden. When a food isn’t well received, it can be noted. If it is, that goes onto a list of favorite new foods. Learn about other ways caregivers can make your parent’s life safer and satisfyingby calling us today.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Plymouth, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.