Sensory loss is one of the changes that happens with aging that many people don’t fully understand. If you’ve ever been sick and lost your sense of smell or taste, you have some idea of what it’s like to lose the senses you’ve relied on all your life. For seniors, hearing and vision loss are extremely common. The senses of taste and smell also decrease. Understanding how losing his or her senses can place your aging loved one at risk for certain hazardous situations helps you find ways to keep him or her safe.
They May Not Hear Warning Sounds
People rely on their sense of hearing to give them warnings about things that go wrong. As your loved one’s sense of hearing decreases, he or she might not hear a fire or burglar alarm at home. In public, your parent may fail to hear a car horn or a warning shouted from across the street. Seniors who need hearing aids should wear them regularly, and you may need to look for alternative warning signals for your loved one to use. For example, home fire alarms are available with flashing lights and vibrating mechanisms that allow seniors to use their other senses to receive warnings.
Older adults with significant sensory loss may need help to continue living at home safely. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Fort Myers respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.
They May No Longer Be Able to Read Labels & Signs
Vision loss creates many potential hazards. One of the most serious dangers is the increased possibility of having an accident. If your loved one can’t see traffic signals or read road signs, he or she could experience a vehicle collision. At home, he or she may not be able to read instructions for using appliances or taking medication. Having someone else take over the driving and assist with reading important information could keep your loved one from getting hurt.
Families who need help caring for senior loved ones can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Fort Myers home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
They May Not Smell Important Odors
Being able to smell foul odors might seem like a bad thing, but this ability is one of the first lines of defense against getting sick or hurt. Seniors need to be able to smell a gas leak or notice when their food has gone bad. Your loved one’s personal hygiene could also take a nosedive if he or she can no longer smell him or herself. Professional caregivers can help seniors with hygiene and kitchen maintenance so losing their sense of smell doesn’t have a negative impact on their general daily wellbeing.
They May Not Enjoy Eating Anymore
Eating is a highly sensory experience. Being able to smell good food cooking revs up the appetite. Then, your loved one needs to be able to taste food to enjoy it. Professional home caregivers know how to prepare meals that appeal to a senior’s decreasing senses. From focusing on interesting visual presentation to using stronger herbs and spices, there are ways to make meals more appealing for seniors who don’t want to eat. Sharing meals so seniors are stimulated by the conversation can also help them enjoy their meals more.
Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted home care service provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. To create a customized care plan for your loved one, call us at (239) 449-4701 today.