Unit 536 Understand Sensory Loss
(SS MU 3.1)
There are a number of factors that can impact on individuals with sensory loss. Communication is an area in which people with sensory loss have many issues. Normal day to day activities can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety. For example if someone does not have sensory loss they may enjoy watching television. Just to imagine not be able to hear what was being said properly, the frustration that must be felt can lead to feelings of inadequacy. For someone who is not able to see the television- they will miss out on action that is not spoken, for example on someone smiling. We express a lot with our body language, facial expressions and that allows to show how are we feeling, but someone unable to see will not be able to read it... The process of aging begins at birth and continues throughout the life. Change is an inevitable part of the aging process. Sensation is the physical and mental process that allows us to receive information from our surrounding environment through the ears, skin, tongue, nostrils, eyes and other specialised sense organs. Key sensing processes include vision, hearing, touch, taste and smell. Sensory loss is defined as a decreased ability to respond to stimuli that affect our senses( hearing, touch, etc) For example, vision loss might mean that we cannot see a person across the street wave at us, or hearing loss might result in us struggling to hear people speaking in a certain tone of voice. Sensory loss is inevitable, but that does not mean that adults who are losing one or more senses have no options available to them. Physical changes associated with aging, beyond gray hair and wrinkles, are not always visually noticeable, are constantly changing and can affect us in many ways. Imagine not being able to see a beautiful sunset or to hear grandchildren playing or smell favourite flowers. These losses affect people in different ways. The impact of these losses can lead to social isolation, loneliness and feelings of depression. Sensory changes does not occur at the same age for each person, nor do all changes occur to 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-50s
Sensory loss seems to be an almost inevitable companion to growing old, but that not true 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 change as a normal part of aging without first understanding the loss. A variety of resources that can help minimize the impact of sensory losses as we age often are available. Alterations 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 alterations. As we age, the shape of the eye lens changes. The lens and cornea become less transparent, the pupil becomes smaller and the field of vision shrinks. Visual difficulties may come with these physical changes in the eye, such as: Decreased ability to see objects clearly
Decreased ability to focus on objects at different distances Decreased ability to function in low lights levels
Decreased ability to correctly judge distances
Common types of vision loss include glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. A problem in many homes that affects vision is an improper amount of light. As we age, we need...
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