While sensory loss is remarkably common, the world is not designed to accommodate those living with challenges such as impaired vision, hearing and mobility. This harsh reality is no more apparent than on the demographic with the highest rate of sensory loss: seniors. Approximately 83 percent of older adults in the United States are living with at least one diminished sense, according to a new survey1 by Home Instead, Inc.
Left untreated, the loss of one or more senses can lead to feelings of isolation and depression, and diminish a person’s quality of life, which can be especially debilitating for older adults. In fact, researchers at the University of British Columbia examined the impact of undiagnosed hearing issues in seniors from 60 to 69 years old and found that for every 10-decibel drop in hearing sensitivity, the odds of social isolation increase by 52 percent.
“Sadly, our world isn’t always designed to support older adults living with diminished senses,” said Shane Thompson, president and co-owner of Home Instead Senior Care in Savannah. “As a community, it’s up to us to find simple ways to be more inclusive and empathetic to make a difference in the lives of those around us.”
Losing the ability to fully connect or interact with those around us cannot only cause seniors to retreat from social situations, but it can even lead to depression and declining physical health. Early detection of sensory loss in seniors can increase their ability to manage the loss and make necessary changes at home and with loved ones.
To help increase awareness and create broader understanding around the daily challenges faced by someone with sensory impairments, Home Instead Senior Care is unveiling “Aging SensesSM”, a free program offering a wealth of resources and tools to the community, including an online sensory loss simulation and instructions on how to create an athome Aging Senses Kit.
For more information and to experience what it’s like to lose one of your five senses visit www.agingsenses.com or contact your local Home Instead Senior Care office.