Notes on Ageing; Failing Senses

larry photo for blogI can’t remember how many senses a human has but I’ve been told, and know from experience that most, if not all, weaken with time. I have to wear hearing aids because my ability to hear high frequency noises has diminished from years of too much rock ‘n roll and playing with chain saws.

I’ve relied on reading glasses for decades but still recall the day I could no longer read the large print on distant bill boards. Bifocals hanging around my neck, always at the ready, is a constant part of my daily wardrobe as is having a pair of drug store reading glasses atop every table a part of our home decor.

The sense of taste seems to be okay. I recall my father losing his and reaching a point in life where all that tasted good to him was ice cream and cookies. I haven’t reached that point yet but living one’s life out on ice cream and cookies can’t be all that bad. I once knew an elderly woman who lasted many years on mostly ice cream so it just has to be nature’s perfect food.

Not sure what to think about the sense of smell (WARNING: The following may verge on TMI). My wife says I’m losing mine because I don’t notice offensive odors that she complains about. People probably do lose their sense of smell as they age but in some ways I think nature compensates. For example, I think one’s excrement and flatulence ripens with age to somehow compensate for a diminished sense of smell. I’m pretty sure I can tell when an old person has been in a public rest room from the stench they leave behind. It simply stinks more than younger people’s.

This is probably related to a lessened sense of touch in the elderly. Obviously, if their bodily emissions didn’t smell bad enough they wouldn’t know when it was time to change their Depends.

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