SENIORS: COPING WITH LIMITATIONS

Jan 24th, 2012 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Essential Five Senses

Vision, hearing, smell, touch and taste are all essential to our daily existence.  There are no guarantees that they will always and forever function well as we grow older.  When various conditions develop which alter the sharpness of any of these senses, we are met with a sudden and dramatic realizations of how critically important and vital each of them is.

A recent diagnosis of macular degeneration has offered both a surprise and an adjustment I was not quite ready to make.  Over the past year, however, I had become aware, since receiving my last correction in my eye glasses, that I was having difficulty making out signs at a distance and recognizing people across a room. These were obviously symptoms that were bothersome and telling.  Indeed they were.  For when I went to two physicians to get independent opinions, I was met with the same verdict.  Increasingly, computer work, reading chiron on television, making out images at a distance have all become more of a challenge.

Thus, the moment that introduces me to coping with limitations.  I am also experiencing some hearing loss, to which I refuse to give in, but the time is coming.  Smell gave up on me years ago when finally I gave up on smoking a pipe.  That’s three out of five, not too good a score.

Coping Positively and Proactively

For those of us who begin to recognize the impending loss of abilities, there are ways to deal with some of them.   Unfortunately, there are no treatments or cures for macular degeneration.  That is a debilitating condition that has yet to find its medical savior.

Hearing is another matter.  It just means I have to let go of my vanity and frugality and decide to get hearing aids.  I think I am almost there. Recommendation:  Visit an audiology clinic, which does not sell hearing aids.   Get a completely objective analysis of your hearing.  Then identify a hearing aid center, which has good references.

Smell, I have found I can live without.  I miss some pleasures; but others are so unpleasant that I do not miss them.

Coping with limitations means sitting down with yourself and dealing with the practical realities that are a part of your now existence. I am doing that, while also discovering the handicaps that come with arthritis and other assorted disabilities.  If I can conquer most of them, or at least accommodate them, I will have some good years ahead.  I am working at being in charge of as much of my equipment as I can.   I hope to prevail.  I also send to you the encouragement to overcome whatever may be in your way, so that your continuing journey can be satisfying and complete.



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