The five senses are hearing, vision, smell, touch, and taste. When these senses begin to dim or are lost as we age, we face challenges dealing with everyday life. Losing one’s senses can also cause serious health problems.
Researchers have mainly focused on what happens after people lose one or two of their senses. However, we know that losing more than two senses occurs frequently for older adults. Until now, no studies have examined how losing multiple senses affects older adults. To learn more, a team of researchers from the University of Chicago designed a study to focus on just that. Their study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
The researchers conducted home interviews among 3,005 older adults between the ages of 57 and 85. They checked participants’ abilities to hear, see, smell, touch, and taste. They also assessed the participants’ mobility, health behaviors, chronic diseases, cognitive function (the ability to think and make decisions), and BMI (body-mass index, a measure for obesity that compares your height to your weight). Five years later, the researchers reassessed the participants who were still living to measure: