You might remember first hearing about the 5 Senses in kindergarten. Maybe you had a project that required finding a show-and-tell item for each Sense to show that you knew what all of them were! Maybe you brought your squawking parakeet, a delicious chocolate chip cookie, a soft blanket, a colorful pop-up book and some potent coffee grounds.

In those days, you began to discover the beauty and intricacy of the world around you. Every new sensation was an exciting and educating opportunity. Now, you might not even stop to smell those coffee grounds before you start the pot, and you surely don’t appreciate a parakeet’s squawking as much.

Did you know that as you age, your Senses begin to dull? It is common knowledge that many of the body’s functions fail to work as well when we age, but have you ever thought of the way that this might affect your Senses?

Due to cataracts and other afflictions, your sight might become hindered. Your hearing might begin to go due to the nerves of your ears gradually breaking down. Similar to the problems with hearing, your sense of touch might be impaired by the same wear-down of nerves in your hands and elsewhere. Smell and taste (closely related!) become dulled as symptoms such as dry mouth and nasal congestion progress.

By now, you can tell that our experience of the 5 Senses has really turned around by the time we are winding down into later stages of life! Is there anything we can do? Will we ever experience Senses the same?

The good news is: yes, there is something that we can do. And most of us are already, unknowingly, doing it. If you have changed a bright light bulb to prevent your aging father from getting a headache from the harsh light, if you have turned down background noise for your mother with hearing aids, you have been engaging in utilizing the 5 Senses to enhance someone’s quality of life.

Here at At-Home Quality Care, we strive to take this to the next level. Studies have shown that taking care to focus in on these 5 functions of our body and enhancing them through intentional engagement can greatly improve a Patient’s day, a Patient’s mood, and even a Patient’s future. We encourage our Caregivers to take every opportunity possible to provide positive experiences with each of the 5 Senses for all of our Patients!

These 5 abilities to perceive the world that our bodies posses might be seen as a hindrance as we age; they might become a frustration. Here are some ways that AHQC is turning that mindset around, and creating positive encounters with each of the 5 Senses:

Sense of Touch

A Patient might be more agitated by the feeling of certain fabrics or even movements as they age. Our Caregivers are aware of this problem, and actively remove items of discomfort for the Patient. They might also utilize a gentle hand or shoulder massage to calm an anxious Patient, and improve their mood in doing so. A Caregiver might procure a plush blanket to ease a troubled Patient, or just to better enjoy a movie night together.

Sense of Sight

Caregivers actively pursue the Patient’s hobbies and interests, getting to know their personality and their passions. Maybe a Patient has enjoyed watching golf, or home videos, and a Caregiver will set up a day to reminisce and enjoy these comforting sights. Maybe a night of looking through old photos is just what the doctor ordered- and this might assist a patient with memory and cognition as well.

Sense of Taste

There are so many options of delicious food to make! AHQC Caregivers can cater to the Client’s tastes and preferences, asking which dishes make them feel celebrated, energized, nostalgic, or appreciated! This can be a fun experience of finding a family recipe, gathering ingredients, reminiscing about old times, and finally, devouring the delicious meal. Taste can also be a way to bring back old memories and keep the mind sharp.

Sense of Smell

The possibilities here are endless. There are so many delicious smelling things! A wax warmer or candle might cozy-up the house in the winter, sparking conversations of Holiday Seasons past. A certain special perfume might remind a Client of a beloved family member. Maybe a specific detergent is the Client’s preferred scent, and the Caregiver can fold freshly cleaned laundry with the Client. The smell of a freshly popped bag of popcorn could brighten anyone’s day!

Sense of Sound

This one is fun. Maybe a Patient has an old record or CD player and some old albums to go through, remembering a concert they once attended or a piece on the piano they used to love playing. Recordings of old radio shows that a Client used to religiously listen to might be found on YouTube. Nature sounds, such as a calming waterfall or stream, can be played to wind down after a busy day.

At-Home Quality Care is committed to intentionally focusing on the 5 Senses in all of our Patient Care! We realize that this part of aging can be frustrating, and seem hopeless as a Patient’s Senses begin to dull. But our Caregivers are unlike any others: they hone in on this problem to help their Patients have an immensely better quality of life through intentionally creating uplifting and memorable encounters.

It is one thing to minimize problems in a Patient’s life that might feed a sensory disorder (such as hearing loss or vision impairment), but it is a totally different and much more rewarding endeavor when we create positive environments in which we can redeem the once discouraging sensory experiences!

These activities can be fun for Caregivers too! Caregiving was not designed to be cold and clinical. It can be engaging and rewarding! Simply going through the motions to keep a client healthy in body does not also nourish them mentally or emotionally. In practicing these activities with Clients, a Caregiver can provide comprehensive care to their Client while enjoying new experiences and expressing creativity. Who wouldn’t want to listen to a nostalgic record or make some delicious comfort food with a Client?

If this sounds like the kind of excellent Patient Care that your Loved One needs, reach out to us today!

(570) 587-4700

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