Home Care in Stratford, CT
Though most people take it for granted, the sense of taste is an important part of staying healthy and encouraging a high quality of life. The taste of the foods and beverages you consume is central to having a pleasurable experience while eating and drinking, and without it, many people lose their motivation to eat or drink enough. Being able to taste properly is also important to detecting potential problems with foods and beverages, such as signs of early spoilage or issues with a recipe.
The average person is born with approximately 10,000 taste-detecting sensory cells throughout his mouth, including on his tongue and the roof of his mouth. After the age of 50, however, these cells begin to lose their sensitivity and eventually die, causing many seniors to cope with a markedly decreased perceptiveness to taste. Other seniors are less capable of perceiving taste because of decreased sense of smell, which is critical to getting the full taste experience of foods and beverages.
Your parents' home care provider can be a valuable resource in helping your elderly loved ones overcome their decrease sense of taste and continue enjoying foods and beverages so they get a nutritionally balanced diet. The first step in dealing with a loss of taste is understanding exactly what is causing the problem. Some of the most common reasons behind decreased sense of taste include:
- Dental problems
- Head injuries
- Dry mouth
- Certain medications and treatments
- Actual decrease in sensory cells
If your aging parents complain of not being able to taste their food as well as they once did, or that food they once enjoyed does not taste good anymore, make an appointment with their physician to determine the actual cause of the problem. This can help you and their in home health care services provider to determine solutions to help your parents overcome this limitation.
Try these tips for helping seniors dealing with loss of taste continue getting the nutrition they need:
• Distract them. Help your parents not focus on their decreased sense of taste while eating as much as they need to by making meal time a social activity. Engage in active conversation while eating and make sure that you are being a good example by eating all of the different types of foods on the menu. Talking and laughing while eating will distract your parents from focusing on the flavor, while watching you eat will encourage them to eat along with you
• Boost the flavor without salt. Salty and sweet are often the first two flavor sensations to decrease, causing many people to over-salt food. This puts them at risk of high blood pressure and other health consequences. Encourage your parents' home care provider to boost the flavor of their food without salt by adding herbs, spices, citrus juice and zest, and vinegars. Experiment with foods from different ethnic cuisines to discover new flavor combinations
• Make food sweeter without sugar. Avoid packing the sugar into your parents' diet by sweetening up food with natural fruit juices and natural plant-based sweeteners such as monk fruit or stevia
• Serve food at the right temperature. Food tastes the best when served at their intended temperature. Make sure that your parents' home care provider serves hot foods hot and cold foods cold to get the most flavor in each bite.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Stratford, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Fairfield, CT at 203-923-8866.