You were born with over 50,000 taste buds.
But between the ages of 50-60, they begin to go away. The Mayo Clinic reports that medical professionals do not yet know why – like eyesight – our sense of taste declines. Of the four sensations, sweet and salty are always first to go (darn), while bitter and sour tend to hang on a bit longer. So what could possibly be some root causes of taste loss?
One widely referred-to theory states that the phenomenon is related to our reduced sense of smell – another thing that happens as we age. Since taste and smell combine to detect flavor, it makes sense that losing even a small part of the latter can affect the former, especially over time.
EverydayHealth.com declares that another reason for a decreased sense of taste could be due to the fact that our elderly loved one’s mouth stops producing as much saliva as she ages. It’s harder to swallow with a drier mouth, making the tasting process more difficult to experience.
Other factors that can influence tasting decline are sinus and nasal issues like polyps or allergies; dental problems, smoking, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.
Aside from a decreased quality of life, decreased sense of taste, if left undiagnosed, can also lead to depression, or diseases like hypertension or diabetes which can result in seniors increasing the use of salt or sugar in their diets in order to enhance the taste of food. On the other end, it can also cause a decrease in appetite, which greatly affects their body as well.
Sometimes it can be quite a feat to figure out that our favorite senior is having tasting issues. They may not even know that it is occurring in the first place, or they could mistake it for just a simple change in dietary preferences. If you see something unusual going on, ask your parent about it. Your conversation, along with the assistance of a medical professional, could lead to beneficial steps to keep them as healthy as can be. And that will leave a great taste in everyone’s mouth.
There is so much to think about when entering the later stages of life. If you are considering elder care options, we at 805Aging can help. Our professional staff specializes in assisting you to choose the right kind of care for your loved one.
We conduct regular check-ins when you are unable to do so. 805Aging also provides oversight and detailed feedback to the family to keep your loved one safe and well-cared for day or night, weekday or weekend, holiday and every day.
We have the resources. We can hold your hand. We can guide you. Your peace of mind is our main goal, and is well assured. To find out more, call us at 805-750-4755 or visit our website and sign up for our monthly newsletter: www.805Aging.com.
There is no manual on how to take care of your parents as they age. They had a baby book when you were young. You have us. -Amy