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Can Mom Stay in Her Home if Her Vision and Hearing Are Poor?

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Your parents’ quality of life can be hampered as their five senses decline.

Guidance on Aging Senses from the Homecare Team at Home Instead, Hamilton

Many seniors want to remain in their homes for as long as possible. However, aging has its effects on our senses. Cataracts cloud our vision. Hearing loss makes it harder to engage in conversations. Dulling taste buds decrease our appetites. It can be enough to make a person think they should give up their home and move into an "old folks home" instead of staying put in their own. Homecare can help when the senses start giving out.

Give your aging loved one the opportunity to age in place when you enlist the services of Home Instead Senior Care in Hamilton. We can help your mom or dad with daily assistance in personal care, household duties, and meals and nutrition. We don't believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, we custom design your loved one's services to meet their needs so they can keep moving and living life at its fullest.

How Sensory Loss Affects Your Senior's Ability to Remain at Home

Your parents' quality of life can be hampered as their five senses decline. Here is how each sense is affected by age, and our useful suggestions to mitigate the issue:

  1. Hearing: From about the age of 30, our hearing declines. The older we get, the harder it becomes to distinguish where sounds come from. The elderly may struggle to engage in conversations. Sometimes this leads to isolating themselves from social situations and can lead to depression.
    • Encourage your loved one to utilize hearing aids and amplifiers as needed. Also, turn down the television when you have a conversation with them. The reduction in background noise will help.
  2. Smell: Your mother may no longer be able to detect odors like spoiled food. Your dad may not notice body odor or smoke. The ability to smell can keep them from ingesting rotten food and the dangers of a house fire.
    • Make a point to test and replace smoke detector batteries regularly. Help keep an eye on the food in their fridge. If body odor is present, find gentle and respectful ways to point the need for better hygiene.
  3. Taste: Dad may lean toward eating more sweets the older he gets. It is not because he may like them more. It may be because he can taste them, whereas he can no longer taste sour, salty, or bitter flavours.
    • Dad must eat a well-rounded, nutrient-dense diet. You may need to increase the use of spices. Also, if he had ill-fitting dentures, have him go to his dentist for a re-fitting.
  4. Touch: Changes in our skin can lead to a decline in our sense of touch. Older people, like Mom and Dad, may not be able to detect hot or cold water. They may not be able to open jars or handle silverware.
    • Your senior may not realize they have lost some sensitivity to touch. You will need to be vigilant in noticing any burn marks, etc. A personal support worker can help ensure your loved one is safe from hot and cold items.
  5. Vision: Your senior will probably suffer from reduced vision. Night driving can become an issue, as can rainy conditions.
    • Besides medication treatment for many conditions, other options include hiring a caregiver to transport your loved one to their appointments, obtaining good glasses, and adequate lighting.

Protect Your Senior from the Effects of Aging Senses

Give your aging loved one the support they need to stay in their home even when their senses start declining. A caregiver from Home Instead Senior Care, Hamilton can quickly step in when you cannot be around to make sure all is well for Mom and Dad. Our team can help with cooking, personal care, and even reading a favourite novel when Mom's eyes grow tired. We are here to serve you and your aging family members with the best possible senior care.

Call us at (905) 521-5500 to schedule a no-obligation, in-home consultation. Learn more about the compassionate, quality home care we deliver each day to families in the Hamilton, Dundas, Ancaster, Stoney Creek area.


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