Decreased sense of smell may indicate early dementia

Posted by ngyose @ngyose, Jan 4, 2020

One of the symptoms or signs for this (Early Onset Alzheimer), is the deteriorating sense of smell. This is from my experience as I now recall. But this is not receiving any attention because of self denial on the part of the caregiver or the person.

I had just assisted a senior and although the person seems to be agile (for his age), the person admitted that the sense of smell is no longer there.

I had tried to sound it out,

Although the family did admitted that there are other minor signs, it is perhaps just beginning

But the fact is that, this keen sense of smell that is no longer there, did not ring any alarm bells.

Sad to say that, although the person, due to the age, does not belong to the Early Onset Alzheimer, it seems that the this symptom has not been noticed.

There is no mention in the latest news from the Mayo Clinic.

Is there anybody out there who had noticed this ?

If the above is valid, how can it be put to use to identify Alzheimer, instead of running around the bush to get the necessary tests for it.

And after getting getting to pay for all the costly tests to ascertain that it is Alzheimer’s……what can be done ? Nothing but to retreat into a cocoon to avoid being stigmatized.

Cheers

@penn1023

Her tiny condo got filthy and she was not bathing. She got a meal from a restaurant down the street. We asked the owner how much she was spending a day on a meal and he said 10. $100 withdrawal every three days, you figure it out.We followed her one day and saw her on a neighborhood park bench with one of the young homeless guys (she was 86) who had his arm around her. My husband walked up to them to say hello and the guy asked who he was and when he found out he took his arm off her. He took his hobo backpack and got on his bike and left. I imagine that was when she handed over money. She told us a guy she knew was fixing her watch but we never saw it again or her ring.That’s how we figured out who was getting the money. Obviously you don’t have that problem. When we moved her in she started to get violent, refusing showers, breaking windows, etc from time to time. It was a nightmare. I was the only child. Eventually she got infections like UTIs, antibiotics, cdiff, antibiotics, enterococcus , antibiotics, pneumonia, sepsis then passed.

Jump to this post

Hi, @greff – I do recognize the blank stare from my great aunt who lives in a nursing home and has dementia. She no longer recognizes any family members. She lives across the country from me, but my aunt sends photos. She always has a blank stare, I noticed.

That is very difficult, @penn1023, to go through seeing your mom not bathe anymore, give money away to strangers in a fashion that didn't seem right to the family, and not keep up her house anymore. My grandma started having dementia symptoms when she lived in a retirement community, and she started doing things like pouring fertilizer all over her carpet and streaking down the hall between units sans clothing. She had to be moved to a higher level of care at that point.

@greff – what do you think is prompting your wife's dietary preferences to get so reduced at home lately? Why do you think it's different there than at a restaurant?

REPLY

My mother had dementia and died at 86 yo. I think it may have started during her late 70s. She was sending money to all sorts of charities and a place that sent her pictures of the president. She was feeding her beloved dog moldy food. She also bought furniture that she couldn't afford and would walk on the street (or entertain visitors) with just her underwear on. . Finally, her money was gone so these places started having her send money through money orders (a guy would come and get the money and then send the money orders-I think he was associated with one of the national delivery services). Finally, one of her kids was there when the guy came to pick up the money and he told us what was going on. We changed her phone number since that was how these people were getting in touch with her, We finally had to put her into a nursing home. She lived a couple of years there. I would stop after work to be sure she was eating since they didn't have enough workers there to feed everyone (and make sure everyone was eating). They would remove all the food after 1/2 hour even if someone was still eating. When I asked why they said it was the rules (something about the food could be dangerous after 1/2 hour). Another thing I noticed about my mother in the early stages was that when she was writing something she often crossed out something and wrote something that was similar but a little different.

REPLY
@lisalucier

Hi, @greff – I do recognize the blank stare from my great aunt who lives in a nursing home and has dementia. She no longer recognizes any family members. She lives across the country from me, but my aunt sends photos. She always has a blank stare, I noticed.

That is very difficult, @penn1023, to go through seeing your mom not bathe anymore, give money away to strangers in a fashion that didn't seem right to the family, and not keep up her house anymore. My grandma started having dementia symptoms when she lived in a retirement community, and she started doing things like pouring fertilizer all over her carpet and streaking down the hall between units sans clothing. She had to be moved to a higher level of care at that point.

@greff – what do you think is prompting your wife's dietary preferences to get so reduced at home lately? Why do you think it's different there than at a restaurant?

Jump to this post

I think that at home, she pursues foods that are easy to make and she doesn't have to cook. She can't stand the smell of food being baked or fried. She also compulsively eats food that she likes, until she eats herself out of liking it. Candy is a big thing for her.

REPLY
@greff

I think that at home, she pursues foods that are easy to make and she doesn't have to cook. She can't stand the smell of food being baked or fried. She also compulsively eats food that she likes, until she eats herself out of liking it. Candy is a big thing for her.

Jump to this post

Like my mother…something about candy

REPLY
@nene22

My mother had dementia and died at 86 yo. I think it may have started during her late 70s. She was sending money to all sorts of charities and a place that sent her pictures of the president. She was feeding her beloved dog moldy food. She also bought furniture that she couldn't afford and would walk on the street (or entertain visitors) with just her underwear on. . Finally, her money was gone so these places started having her send money through money orders (a guy would come and get the money and then send the money orders-I think he was associated with one of the national delivery services). Finally, one of her kids was there when the guy came to pick up the money and he told us what was going on. We changed her phone number since that was how these people were getting in touch with her, We finally had to put her into a nursing home. She lived a couple of years there. I would stop after work to be sure she was eating since they didn't have enough workers there to feed everyone (and make sure everyone was eating). They would remove all the food after 1/2 hour even if someone was still eating. When I asked why they said it was the rules (something about the food could be dangerous after 1/2 hour). Another thing I noticed about my mother in the early stages was that when she was writing something she often crossed out something and wrote something that was similar but a little different.

Jump to this post

Horrible isn’t it? Always in hindsight do you figure out that it started many years before. You want them to have their own money (we did) but after years of giving hers away (And she was only on SS) and then her watch and rings was too much.
God bless them and may they Rest In Peace.

REPLY
@greff

I think it is very sad that other people would take advantage of your mom. I live in a town of about 12,000 people. One of my boys is a police officer so I'm hoping that we can keep a close eye on my wife when shw starts to wander off. She is not to that point yet but she is starting to go through the sun downing behavior. She gets up at 1:30am and is up for the night. I don't know when to put locks or alarms on the doors.

Jump to this post

@greff Regarding locks or alarms, sooner is better. We had a family emergency when my son-in-law's Mom wandered away in the cold in a shirt, with no phone, purse or id. Fortunately the police found her at her former workplace before any real harm, but nobody in the family believed at that point that she would be lost in the neighborhood where she had lived for 30 years, and in daylight.
Right away his Dad got locks and alarms except to the backyard and deck, which had a fence with a locked gate. So she could go outside but not go far.

REPLY
@sueinmn

@greff Regarding locks or alarms, sooner is better. We had a family emergency when my son-in-law's Mom wandered away in the cold in a shirt, with no phone, purse or id. Fortunately the police found her at her former workplace before any real harm, but nobody in the family believed at that point that she would be lost in the neighborhood where she had lived for 30 years, and in daylight.
Right away his Dad got locks and alarms except to the backyard and deck, which had a fence with a locked gate. So she could go outside but not go far.

Jump to this post

That's my fear. I'm going to come home and she will be gone. My employer lets me check on her frequently but it only takes a minute for her to leave. For you tech smart people, do they make a fitbit or something along that line that can track her movement (GPS)? I realize that phones do but she forgets her phone most of the time.

REPLY
@penn1023

Horrible isn’t it? Always in hindsight do you figure out that it started many years before. You want them to have their own money (we did) but after years of giving hers away (And she was only on SS) and then her watch and rings was too much.
God bless them and may they Rest In Peace.

Jump to this post

It is a very difficult disease to watch with someone you love.

REPLY
@greff

That's my fear. I'm going to come home and she will be gone. My employer lets me check on her frequently but it only takes a minute for her to leave. For you tech smart people, do they make a fitbit or something along that line that can track her movement (GPS)? I realize that phones do but she forgets her phone most of the time.

Jump to this post

Yes, they do. There are watches available with GPS trackers in them. They were recommended to us by home health care when my mother-in-law came home from memory care rehab. She's not to the point where she needs one yet, but the nurse told us that they are available on Amazon and probably through other sources as well. I did a very quick online search and found several options including some with geo-fencing which means you would get an alert if she leaves a pre-determined zone. Hope that this helps.

REPLY
@coloradogirl

Yes, they do. There are watches available with GPS trackers in them. They were recommended to us by home health care when my mother-in-law came home from memory care rehab. She's not to the point where she needs one yet, but the nurse told us that they are available on Amazon and probably through other sources as well. I did a very quick online search and found several options including some with geo-fencing which means you would get an alert if she leaves a pre-determined zone. Hope that this helps.

Jump to this post

Which is good if they keep it on their wrist. My mother took her watch and rings off and gave them away.

REPLY

It's heartbreaking. I was told that I should get mom a really inexpensive fake wedding ring so she wouldn't give it away…or lose it or have it stolen.

REPLY
@coloradogirl

Yes, they do. There are watches available with GPS trackers in them. They were recommended to us by home health care when my mother-in-law came home from memory care rehab. She's not to the point where she needs one yet, but the nurse told us that they are available on Amazon and probably through other sources as well. I did a very quick online search and found several options including some with geo-fencing which means you would get an alert if she leaves a pre-determined zone. Hope that this helps.

Jump to this post

I will check into it. Thanks.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.