All parts of the body are affected by aging. Some obvious signs include wrinkling skin and graying hair. Other changes that are not as noticeable to others include hearing loss, vision changes , and changes in the ability to touch, taste, and smell.
These impairments are associated with poor health outcomes, such as limitations in physical function and activities of daily living (ADLs), social isolation, cognitive decline, depression , poor self -rated health (SRH), communication difficulties, and even mortality.
(Better Health Channel 2014) Loss of touch. As a person ages, reduced or changed sensations result. This may be an effect of decreased blood flow to the nerve endings or to the spinal cord or brain. It can be affected by brain surgery or nerve damage from chronic disease such as diabetes.
The 10,000 taste buds we are born with begin to decrease as we move into middle age . The taste buds that remain also experience a decrease in size and sensitivity, which can make it harder to perceive taste . The loss of smell that occurs with aging can also lead to a decrease in the sense of taste as we age .
The five basic sensory systems: Visual. Auditory. Olfactory ( smell ) System. Gustatory ( taste ) System. Tactile System. Tactile System (see above) Vestibular (sense of head movement in space) System. Proprioceptive (sensations from muscles and joints of body) System.
As you age , the way your senses (hearing, vision, taste, smell, touch) give you information about the world changes. Your senses become less sharp, and this can make it harder for you to notice details. Sensory information is converted into nerve signals that are carried to the brain.
In terms of social and mental well-being, vision loss and hearing loss have each been shown to be associated with depression, social isolation , anxiety, paranoia, and decreased self-esteem.
Sensory impairment is the common term used to describe Deafness, blindness, visual impairment , hearing impairment and Deafblindness. Causes of sight loss injury or infection. genetic or age-related such as AMD (Age Related Macular Degeneration) Cataracts. Diabetic Retinopathy.
Age-related decline of the five classical senses (vision, smell, hearing, touch, and taste) poses significant burdens on older adults. The co-occurrence of multiple sensory deficits in older adults is not well characterized and may reflect a common mechanism resulting in global sensory impairment.
Communication Make sure you have the person’s attention before trying to communicate with them. Gently touching the top of the person’s arm is a common way of attracting their attention without startling them. Identify yourself clearly. Check that you are in the best position to communicate.
Older people can expect some decline in their five senses . While the sense of smell, taste and touch all change with age, often the most noticeable changes affect our vision and hearing. As senses change , older people may find it more difficult to socialize and participate in activities.
The two most common chronic conditions in the elderly are high blood pressure and arthritis , with diabetes, coronary heart disease, and cancer also being reported at high rates among the elderly population.
The sense of smell is often taken for granted, that is until it deteriorates. As we get older, our olfactory function declines. Not only do we lose our sense of smell , we lose our ability to discriminate between smells.
Although taste is the most important sense when eating, smell also plays an important role. The combination of the smell and taste senses enable us to experience the real flavour of the food we’re eating, and without this, no dining experience could be complete.
Between the ages of 40 and 50 , the number of taste buds decreases, and the rest begin to shrink, losing mass vital to their operation. After age 60, you may begin to lose the ability to distinguish the taste of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter foods.