If something is used uninterruptedly for a lifetime, it dulls. Our senses are no exception. In particular, three senses that fade with age are our ability to taste, hear and see. It is important that we consciously strive to monitor these senses and take appropriate measures to maintain and improve them.
Keeping our ears healthy
We lose our hearing over time. The rate at which we lose it depends on a variety of factors, such as genetics and the extent of the damage we have done to our ears in the past.
There are certain signs that indicate a hearing loss. The National Institute on Deafness and other communication disorders offers a survey to determine the severity of a potential hearing problem. The questions aim to determine how much frustration a hearing problem causes in everyday life. A hearing aid may be the right solution if you get frustrated by not being able to hear well.
Although hearing loss is a normal thing to happen as we age, you can still take specific measures to preserve your hearing. These measures are mainly to avoid harmful noises that damage your hearing. For example, you should limit the volume of the earphones when listening to music and wear protective gear when operating lawn equipment like leaf blowers, lawnmowers, and weed whackers. These precautions apply to everyone and especially to older adults.
Keep sharp view
At the age of only 40, vision problems can occur. At the age of 40, we often use reading glasses to read documents that we once read with the naked eye.
Over 40 and into our 50s, 60s and beyond, we are becoming more susceptible to various vision problems, including glaucoma and cataracts. Fortunately, many of these problems can be treated when they start happening.
The Neurological Society of New Zealand recommends various activities to improve and maintain vision. Some of them are maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating the right foods. They find that eating leafy vegetables and fish can help maintain the retina, while too much and saturated fats and sugar can damage the retina. Regular exercise can reduce age-related retinal degeneration by up to 70 percent, and if you do not smoke, you are less prone to certain vision problems.
Continuing to smell and taste
At 70 years old, our ability to smell and taste declines. Smokers and people who live in an environment with poor air quality can lose those senses earlier.
NFNZ notes that people who increase Zinc intake can preserve smelling capabilities. For the taste, they advise avoiding mouthwash and regular dental hygiene.
Our senses fade as we age. However, by practicing appropriate habits and taking into account activities that could damage our senses, we can keep them as sharp as possible and even strengthen them.
We can Help! Our local advisors can help your family make a confident decision about senior living.