Caregiver: The taste receptors on the tongue sense four distinct flavors: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter.
As we age, our taste receptors grow fewer and less sensitive. We have between 10,000 and 15,000 taste buds in our prime. By the time they reach the age of 70, many seniors have lost two out of three of their taste buds, resulting in a diminished sense of taste – and meals begin to seem bland. Hiring a caregiver to help you create wonderful, tasty meals is a good idea.
The taste may be affected by medications or chronic medical disorders such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. Aging might also result in a reduction in saliva production. Many seniors have a dry mouth, and not drinking enough water or other liquids may exacerbate the condition.
If a senior is struggling with dementia and it is still in the early stages, they may still want to live at home. Companion care at home will help seniors live on their own to ensure their safety and help a senior focus on a diet. If you have companion care at home in place for your seniors, they may be able to help a senior curb the cravings.
Simultaneously with the loss of taste, the sense of smell, which contributes to flavor, deteriorates. After 70, nerve endings in the nose start to diminish. Smoking also impairs one’s sense of smell. These variables may impair an individual’s capacity to taste all of the dishes’ tastes, resulting in a need for extra sugar or salt.
Why Sweet Cravings Happen
Seniors who do not eat enough carbs to fulfill their body’s energy requirements may develop a sweet tooth. Prevent this sort of hunger by prohibiting seniors from skipping meals, encouraging them to have a snack even if they are not hungry, and adding complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, protein, and fats in meals.
However, if sugar cravings are creating health concerns, the senior should substitute activities such as walking, contacting a friend, listening to music, or soaking in a bath. Food and the act of eating release endorphins, which make you feel happy. The trick is to discover additional hobbies that make you feel happy.
Companion care at home may lightly sweeten dishes may pique the curiosity of someone who has lost interest in eating. Here are some healthy snack ideas that are simple to prepare and delicious. Ascertain that your loved one is capable of consuming some of these things – for example, popcorn or carrots. It is prudent to consult with their physician beforehand.
What Happens If a Senior Craves Salt?
A salt craving may persist just as long as the time required to rehydrate after moderate dehydration caused by excessive perspiration. It may be a chronic symptom, as is the case with Addison’s disease (a condition in which the body produces insufficient amounts of specific hormones produced by the adrenal glands), or it can be accompanied by other symptoms or signs, such as low blood pressure (hypotension), fatigue, loss of appetite, and chronic diarrhea.