Unit 4222-393 Understand Sensory Loss

Unit 4222-393 Understand Sensory Loss (SS MU 3.1)

Outcome 1
1. Sensory changes do not occur at the same age for each person, nor do all changes occur for everyone or to the same degree. An awareness of different sensory changes and their effects can be helpful. Studies have shown changes accelerate at these approximate age ranges: vision - mid 50’s, hearing - mid 40’s, touch - mid 40’s, taste - mid 50’s and smell - mid 70’s.
Sensory loss seems to be an almost inevitable companion to growing old. Does that mean older adults who are losing one or more of their senses are simply out of luck? Not at all. Cures may not be available for the major causes of age related sensory loss, but armed with the right knowledge about which age related sensory losses are normal and which are not, we can better understand what to do about them. Understanding sensory loss can help individuals adapt and accept these natural changes.
Equally important is not accepting a change as a normal part of aging without first understanding the loss. A variety of resources that can minimize the impact of sensory losses are often available. Alteration of the environment to compensate for age related sensory losses is necessary for many older adults to maintain their independent living. Thorough knowledge of the changes in vision, taste, smell, touch and hearing that accompany the aging process is essential to assessing environmental alteration. Most damage to senses is caused by environmental factors, much of which becomes apparent as people enter their 70’s. Although genetics is known to influence the longevity and optimal aging, research shows that good lifestyle choices, including regular exercise, diet and nutrition, have a significant impact on how well individuals age. The challenges of life do not become easier as one age, fears, physical difficulties and various losses in the areas of vision, taste, smell, touch and hearing.
Those who are blind or sight impaired may not be...