The sense of smell and taste are closely entwined for humans and your aging adult may be experiencing problems with one or both senses. Understanding why can help you to either correct the problem or find a way around it.
Some people do experience a loss of taste or smell simply because they’re growing older. There may be a combination of other reasons, however, especially since humans are such complex creatures.
Medication Side Effects
Some medications can cause either temporary or permanent changes to your elderly family member’s senses of smell or taste. Make sure that you mention these changes to your senior’s doctor so that you can determine if this is the cause of the new experiences she’s having.
Being a Smoker
If your elderly family member is or was a smoker for a long time, she may have experienced permanent changes to both her sense of smell as well as her sense of taste. For some people, these changes are temporary, even after decades of smoking. The only way to know for sure is to help her to quit smoking and see if those senses return to normal.
Head injuries can damage the parts of the brain that interpret data from your elderly family member’s nose and tongue. This can lead to changes in how those senses appear to your elderly family member. Talk with her doctor if she’s ever experienced a head injury to determine if this is part of the cause.
Sinus problems, which can cover everything from chronic sinus infections to other ailments, can create a situation in which your senior isn’t able to distinguish smell and therefore taste. Curing the sinus ailments can sometimes correct the problem, but if she’s had this trouble for a long time, it may be permanent.
Other Health Issues
Other health conditions can also create a situation in which your aging family member cannot distinguish smells and tastes like she used to. Whenever you’re in doubt, be sure to talk with her doctor to be sure.
Once you realize that your senior is losing her senses of taste or smell, you can put plans in place to help her manage around the difficulty. Hiring elderly care providers can be especially helpful in putting solutions together.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider caregivers provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.