Joplin in-home senior care service offers kit to demonstrate aging senses

JOPLIN, Mo. -Home Instead Senior Care, an in-home senior care service in Joplin, is rolling out a kit for the public to show what it’s like to experience the break down of sight, hearing and touch.

Glasses with vision-impairing splotches give a look at what it’s like to experience cataracts through the eyes of a senior.

Aging Senses Demo

Glasses simulate seeing with cataracts

Aging Senses Demo Glasses

Spotted glasses simulate cataracts

“It’s almost like rain on my glasses,” said one woman going through the “AgingSenses” training.

Ear plugs mimic hearing loss.

Pair that with trying to do even a simple task with cotton-stuffed fingertip gloves that simulate arthritis, and it’s clear that getting older isn’t easy.

“You don’t really realize how it affects them until you watch it every single day,” said Melissa Watson, an In-Home Caregiver.

Melissa Watson's Mother

Melissa Watson’s Mother

Watson cared for her mother until she passed away. Now she’s caring for others with Home Instead Senior Care in Joplin, and she’s excited to see aging kits, formerly reserved for employees, being shared with the public.

“Especially for families that are watching their loved ones go through everything, I think that for them to be able to feel how their parent is feeling, you know, by being able to touch things and to feel how their touch is different than it used to be…”

Home Instead says 83% of seniors over the age of 65 are experiencing some form of sensory loss. Vision is number one, followed by hearing. Experts say that losing these senses can lead to isolation and the deterioration of mental and physical health.

“Depression can really set in and really have a toll to impact their whole body in regards to some of the other conditions they may be experiencing. It can accelerate certain chronic conditions, certain dementia symptoms, can accelerate certain other physical symptoms within congestive heart failure, or chronic obstructive disease,” stated Adam Bokker, owner of Home Instead Senior Care in Joplin.

The ultimate goal is to educate caregivers in empathy and patience.

“Take time with your loved ones, you know, spend as much time as you can with them and learn about them,” said Watson.

The kits are free and can be ordered by calling Joplin Home Instead Senior Care at (417) 625-1868.

Seeing with cataracts demo

Cooking with cataracts demo

You can also engage in an interactive lesson that demonstrates what it’s like trying to cook with cataracts here.