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Activities for Understanding Sensory Changes

 

Gaining an understanding of what your elderly loved one is going through can be one of the hardest things to do. Though you wish to sympathize with them, you lack an understanding of how frustrating these changes can truly be. To better understand your loved one, I recommend you take part in the following activities. (These are great activities to do with your children. They will provide them with insight into what their grandparents are going through.)

 

Vision

What you’ll need:

  • Pair of glasses strong enough to distort vision

  • Magazine or book

Directions: Put on the glasses and try to read the magazine or simply look around to see what the world looks like from this perspective.  If your loved one suffers from partial blindness, you could also tape pieces of paper over parts of the glasses.

 

Hearing

What you’ll need:

  • Ear plugs or thick cotton balls
  • 1 or 2 extra partners

Directions: Once you have the ear plugs in place, have one or both of your partners try to carry on a conversation with you while speaking at a normal volume.

 

Touch/Joint Stiffness

What you’ll need:

  • Pair of thin vinyl gloves
  • 1 cup of dry rice
  • 1 pill or medicine bottle

Directions: Put the glove on your hand and then pour in some of the rice. Once the rice is evenly distributed throughout the glove, try engaging in simple tasks such as opening a medicine bottle.

 

Reflect

For elders going through sensory changes, this is an everyday battle. While we can simply take off the gloves, glasses and ear plugs, they must learn to adapt. Try to imagine how frustrated you would be if you dealt with these issues daily.