The Application of Sensory Science for the Maintenance of Health for the Elderly
“The application of sensory for the maintenance of health for the elderly”
As humans age their flavour sensitivity and other capabilities decline. If these issues are not addressed a consequence may be that their health declines. Outline the issues involved and describe how Sensory Science may be applied to address these issues, so that the diet of the elderly can be both satisfying and safe.
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Undergraduate students (ONPS2520)
- Write a maximum of 2,000 words (excluding references) literature review on the above topic.
- See the Course Guide for details about presentation expectations.
Postgraduate students (ONPS2526)
- Write a maximum of 3,000 words (excluding references) literature review on the above topic.
- You must also nominate a peer reviewed journal as your intended submission place for your literature review, and follow their author requirements. As an appendix include the author requirements (not included in the word count). Where there are any conflicts with the guidelines given above, the author requirements of the journal will take precedence.
The Application of Sensory Science for the Maintenance of Health for the Elderly
Aging comes with numerous health concerns that require attention to minimize continued health declines. Geriatric health focuses on promoting and protecting the health and wellbeing of the aging population. Achievement of success in the advancement of the health requires the application of health care strategies and measures that enhance better health outcomes by addressing specific health concerns effectively. One primary concern that the elderly face is the reduced or total loss of flavor sensibility. Crews (2003), Yamada, et al. (2015), and Rawal, Hoffman, Chapo, and Duffy (2014) assert that as people age, they become more susceptible to developing disorders of taste and smell and a disruption of the functionality of the others senses. The application of sensory analysis in addressing these concerns is one of the effective ways of improving the senses and alleviating the impacts of sensory loss (Hall & Wendin, 2008). Sensory science may be applied in different ways to address these issues and improve the quality of life of the elderly. This essay offers an articulate analysis and review of literature on the application of sensory science in addressing the concerns of declining flavor sensitivity and other sensory losses among the elderly.
As people age, the impact on their sense is significant. Numerous authors discuss the relationship between aging and sensory loss and the influence on the health and wellbeing of the elderly. According to Rawal, Hoffman, Chapo, and Duffy (2014) and Cao, Uz, and Pais (2011), aging increases the susceptibility of people to developing health complications. The development of disorders of smell, taste, hearing, and sight among others are commonly recorded among the elderly population. Schiffman and Zervakis (2002) argue that these disorders, especially sensibility to flavor (taste) and smell, pose a major diagnostic dilemma to medical and health care providers. The authors argue that there is limited information and knowledge on the conditions. This issue is contributed to by the limited research on the area. Doty, Saito, and Bromley (2008) state that research in the area remains minimal due to the low level of interest in disorders affecting the elderly, mostly those associated with the sense of smell and taste, as compared to the other senses. Doty R (2012) supports the authors by arguing that research on sense organs and physiological/pathological aging is directed mainly on visual and hearing modality overlooking taste and smell. However, numerous studies still offer in-depth analysis about the declining sensitivity to flavor and smell in the elderly.
Ageing and Declining Sensory Activity
Although Boyce and Shone (2006) state that there is limited research on the disorders affecting senses, numerous authors have done comprehensive research on the topic. Melis, et al. (2017), Crews (2003), Cao, Uz, and Pais (2011), Doty R (2012), and Yamada, et al. (2015) among others have explored the interrelation between aging and sensory activity, and disorders in-depth. Schiffman and Zervakis (2002) Crews (2003) and Yamada, et al. (2015) offer an articulate study of the influence of aging on the perceptions of smell and taste and the influence on the health of the elderly. According to (Yamada, et al., 2015), the ageing causes dual sensory impairment, affecting the senses of smell and taste considerably. The impairment, according to Melis, et al. (2017) and Hall and Wendin (2008), cause numerous flavor sensitivity, taste, and olfaction disorders. The disorders influence the quality of life of the elderly by affecting their health in a major way. The review of further literature in the topic offers important knowledge about the disorders and the application of sensory science in managing and treating them.
Doty (2012) and Doty, Saito, and Bromley (2008) explore the relationship between taste and smell perception and the influence on the elderly. The authors offer an extensive research that shows that sensory impairment or reduced sensory capability has a direct influence on the health and wellbeing of the elderly. Losing the capability to smell or taste flavors as one ages leads to poor appetite and impaired choice of food and, therefore, decreased energy consumption (Schiffman & Zervakis, 2002; Melis, et al., 2017). Doty R (2012) supports the authors’ arguments by arguing that one of the major causes of poor health is the limited ability to enjoy food due to reduced ability to taste and smell. However, while Doty, Saito, and Bromley (2008) focus the research more on the perceptions of smell and taste and their effect on the elderly without a recommendation of new treatment and management measures. Doty R (2012) offers articulate discussion and recommendations for the enhancement of the elder people’s ability to taste. The application of sensory science in the enhancement of flavor and smell sensitivity ability is critical for promoting the health and wellbeing of the elderly (Hardikar, Höchenberger, Villringer, & Ohla, 2016).
Wijk, Kooijman, Verhoeven, Holthuysen, and Graaf (2012) and Schiffman and Zervakis (2002) offer a comprehensive study of taste and smell and the close relation between them. According to the authors, many chemosensory disorders are caused by disorders related to smell. The development of an effective strategy for addressing the taste disorders affecting the elderly requires a deeper understanding and formulation of treatment options for smell disorders. Cao, Uz, and Pais (2011) support the need for addressing the smell disorders in the process of managing and treating taste disorders among the elderly. The integration of techniques that guarantee the improvement of the health and wellbeing of patients of smell and taste, as Crew (2003) asserts, is of critical importance. Apart from identifying ageing as one of the major causes of the chemosensory disorders, the author includes medication, the burning mouth syndrome, natural proteins, and aerate conditions around the sense of smell, damaged epithelium, and nerve injuries as other critical causes of the disorders (Rawal, Hoffman, Chapo, & Duffy, 2014). Doty, Saito, & Bromley (2008) discuss the disorders and outlines the major causes of the decreased olfaction. According to the author, acute conditions affecting the health of the mouth, medications, and chronic disorders that mainly affect the elderly such as Alzheimer and the Parkinson’s conditions cause declining taste ability. The application of geriatric practice in managing and treating the conditions is greatly essential for improved taste and olfaction health.
The discussion of these disorders offers a better understanding of their etiology and facilitates the development of more effective treatments and management techniques. Danner, Wendelin, Buchinger, and Derndorfer (2017) state that the application of science in studying taste and olfaction disorders requires the acquisition of sufficient knowledge on the smell disorders. Hall and Wendin (2008), Melis, et al. (2017), Danner, Wendelin, Buchinger, and Derndorfer (2017) and Rawal, Hoffman, Chapo, and Duffy (2014) among other authors agree that chemosensory disorders are more prevalent among the elderly. Doty (2012) offers an in-depth analysis and research on the conditions and identifies their implication for food delight and the negative influence on the psychological wellbeing of the elderly. Rawal, Hoffman, Chapo, and Duffy (2014) argue that the development of effective scientific approaches to improving the taste and olfaction abilities of the elderly would serve a great role in promoting geriatric health and improving the quality of life of the elderly by enhancing their psychological health and wellbeing. However, while supporting the author, (Crews, 2003) and Henkin, Velicu, and Papathanassiu (2016) call for the need for ensuring efficiency by applying quality practices that prioritize the safety and wellbeing of the patient.
Hall and Wendin (2008) discuss the importance of sensory design of foods in promoting the health and wellbeing of the elderly. According to the authors, sensitivity to taste and smell makes the eating process pleasurable and promotes the enjoyment of different flavors and foods. This leads to the consumption of the various nutrients required for a quality life. Doty R (2012) and Cao, Uz, and Pais (2011), however, asserts that ageing naturally lowers the sensitivity to taste and smell making eating more of a duty than a social experience. Reduction in the olfaction and flavor sensitivity affects the elderly people’s ability to enjoy meals. Hall and Wendin (2008) support the views raised by the authors and points out that the development of sensory design of foods is critical to the enhancement of the health and wellbeing of the elderly. Applying the sensory science in understanding the concerns that come with ageing, especially affecting olfaction and sensitivity to flavors, and improving the sensitivity are critical processes for the enhancement of health.
The sensory activity of a human allows the determination of the rheological properties of the food and influences the person’s enjoyment of a meal. Hall and Wendin (2008) assert that healthy people have minimal problems chewing and swallowing and their sensations perceive the texture sensations effectively. The processes of chewing and swallowing trigger sensory stimuli giving rise to the release of the perceptions of taste and flavor. However, ageing causes numerous and inevitable physiological changes affecting the chewing and swallowing functions thus the development of dysphagia. According to Hall and Wendin (2008), the impairments cause xerostomia and impaired sensory perception. Xerostomia (impaired saliva production) and reduced sensory perception affect the person’s ability to enjoy meals and limit the elderly from benefitting from a wide range of foods. Yamada, et al. (2015) and Danner, Wendelin, Buchinger, and Derndorfer (2017) states that older people suffering from dysphagia, for instance, find it difficult to enjoy eating foods that are difficult to chew and swallow due to their texture and limit themselves to softer foods. This comes with multiple health issues showing the influence of ageing on the health and wellbeing of the people.
Applying Sensory Science in Improving Taste and Olfaction Capabilities
The application of new technologies in healthcare improvement has resulted in improved health outcomes, better, quality, safer, and efficient approaches to treating and managing numerous health issues. Today, more than ever, patient satisfaction is highest and the case continues to be on the rise as the integration of technologies into healthcare improves. According to Yamada, et al. (2015), the management and treatment of certain diseases and conditions require the adoption and implementation of scientific approaches. This argument is supported by Wijk, Kooijman, Verhoeven, Holthuysen, and Graaf (2012) who asserts the need for continued investment in science for the development of more efficient treatment and management techniques. In dealing with olfaction and deteriorating taste capabilities, the integration of scientific approaches comes with a greater promise for enhanced effectiveness and efficiency (Cao, Uz, & Pais, 2011). Though information on the topic is scanty following limited research, some authors have explored the topic extensively, offering critical information on the area of study. The integration of the information into research helps in determining the possible application of sensory science in maintaining the health of the elderly (Yamada, et al., 2015).
Dalton, Doolittle, Nagata, and Breslin (2000) and Graham and Schiffman (2000) argue for the need to apply sensory science in the development of treatment and management strategies for the olfaction and taste disorder in the elderly. According to Doty (2012), reduced flavor sensitivity and the development of olfaction disorders affects the health of the elderly greatly. These health issues influence the appetite of the people, their choices of food, and nutrient intake. The inclusion of scientific interventions plays an essential role in promoting sensitivity of the different senses, mainly the taste sensory network and the olfaction capabilities.
Melis, et al. (2017) and Danner, Wendelin, Buchinger, and Derndorfer (2017) and Yamada, et al. (2015) show the effectiveness of applying sensory science in improving the maintenance of the health of the elderly. The integration of sensory science in the management of olfaction and taste disorders involves the enhancement of the sensory capabilities of the affected people. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (2017) defines sensory science as a discipline used for evoking, measuring, analyzing, and interpreting the response of the human senses to products. The application of the discipline in enhancing the olfaction and flavor sensitivity capabilities would play an important role in enhancing the quality of life, health, and wellbeing of the elderly. According to Cao, Uz, and Pais (2011), the integration of measures that improve chemosensory signals enhances the health of the affected and boosts olfaction and taste capabilities. The author argues for the importance of using healthcare/medical strategies for improving appetite by enhancing chemosensory signals of the elderly. Cao, Uz, & Pais (2011) and Rawal, Hoffman, Chapo, and Duffy (2014) state that chemosensory improvement triggers the secretion of cephalic phase responses which include salivary, pancreatic, gastric, and intestinal secretions. The application of methods that promote the secretion promotes the elderly people’s ability to taste.
The improvement of the sensitivity to flavor and smell requires the application of effective scientific procedures and approaches. Cao, Uz, and Pais (2011) suggest that the application of scientific approaches such as motor-cognitive stimulation would improve the capability of elder people to smell and taste. According to the authors, the integration of stimulation programs into the treatment and management procedures of elderly people with reduced olfaction or taste ability would enhance their abilities. Cognitive and motor-perceptive influence of applying the stimulating program focusing on the cognitive processes using motor function improve the capabilities of the affected significantly (Yamada, et al., 2015) (Cao, Uz, & Pais, 2011). While citing Park, Polk, Mikels, Taylor, and Marshuet (2001) and Sorel and Pennquin (2008), Cao, Uz, and Pais (2011) posit that aging alters cognitive functions and causes changes in motor perception. The habitual application of the functions determines the level of deterioration as one ages. The application of a systematic intervention such as cognitive training improves the senses and enhances the person’s ability to taste and smell. The author states the Motor Function and Memory intervention developed by Pont (2004) and Memory Workout Program to support the necessity of applying scientific approaches in advancing olfaction and taste capabilities.
In the Sensory Design for Foods for the Elderly, Hall and Wendin (2008) argue for the possibility of designing foods in accordance with the needs of the consumers. The authors state that elderly people with dysphagia cannot consume foods with rough texture, which are difficult to chew or swallow (Doty, Saito, & Bromley, 2008). The inability to enjoy these foods limits the older people to specific foods which either they do not enjoy taking or lack the necessary flavors. The quality of life among the elderly, mainly those suffering from olfaction disorders and taste insensitivity, reduces significantly. The authors argue for the need to develop measures for enhancing the people’s enjoyment of foods and ensuring that the elderly benefit wholly from their meals. The application of sensory science, in this case sensory design, requires the textural modification of foods to ensure that patients with dysphagia can enjoy. Hall and Wendin (2008) argue for the implementation of the strategy (modifying the texture of foods) as a treatment strategy for dysphagia and other sensory disorders.
Different authors show the connection between ageing, the loss of olfaction and taste capabilities, and certain diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. For instance, (Graham & Schiffman, 2000) offer an articulate discussion of the influence of ageing on taste and smell and go deeper into a comprehensive analysis of the interrelation between the disorders and other diseases. That Alzheimer’s and cancer diseases and their medications affect the taste and smell capabilities of aging persons, the analysis of these disorders by the authors shows the depth of their research on the topic. The diseases affect the ability of the people to enjoy food by causing poor appetite and, consequently, inappropriateness in the choice of food. This supports (Doty, Saito, & Bromley, 2008), (Doty R, 2012), and (Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, 2017) who offer extensive research studies identifying the loss of the ability to taste or smell effectively and their influence on food choices and appetite. The authors agree that the conditions result in poor food choices and reduced appetite, which result in a pitiable nutritional status of the elderly and impaired immunity. The development of strategies for alleviating the influence of the disorders of the elderly using sensory science would serve a great role in advancing their health and wellbeing (Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, 2017).
Numerous authors offer definitive studies on the alteration of taste and smell functioning among the elderly. Crews (2003) and Graham and Schiffman (2000) found that cancer patients treated with chemotherapy (radiation) and immunotherapy recorded altered tastes and smell sensitivity. The treatments cause chemosensory changes that affect the preferences of the patients and an impairment of the detection ability. According to Graham and Schiffman (2000), patients treated with chemotherapy attest to reduced ability to sense basic tastes and an even lower perception of the tastes. Moreover, 50% of people suffering from cancer show reduced taste or flavor sensitivity capability at some point during treatment (Graham & Schiffman, 2000). That most patients of cancer are the elderly shows the interconnection between the disease, ageing, and the influence on the senses. The author argues that the determination of the influence of cancer and medication is a great challenge. However, that infections, ulcers, dry mouth, and stomatitis are some of the main oral complication that patients of cancer are susceptible to, which makes it difficult to outline the direct connection between the disease, the elderly, and the senses. What is important is that the application of sensory science in solving the issues surrounding the elderly population’s health would guarantee better health outcomes. For example, in patients suffering from cancer, applying sensory science to improve flavor sensitivity by addressing oral complications would influence the health of the elderly significantly.
The achievement of
better societal health relies mainly on the promotion of better health for all
citizens across all borders. The promotion of the health and wellbeing of the
elderly is an important approach in advancing health in the society. As people
age, there is an increasing susceptibility to developing diseases and disorders.
Ageing comes, for instance, with the development of numerous olfaction and
smell disorders. The aging population continues to lose sensitivity to flavors
and smell. The application of sensory science in determining the most effective
interventions for addressing the concerns is an essential step towards the
improvement of the health of the wellbeing elderly.
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