As seniors age, many keep a close eye out for signs of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association®, there are a wide array of Alzheimer’s symptoms. From daily challenges in planning and solving problems, difficulty completing familiar tasks and confusion with time or place to poor judgment, changes in mood and personality, withdrawal and more, it can seem like an awful lot to keep track of. However, is there one more symptom that you or your loved one should be on the lookout for? As research is beginning to show, the answer might just be yes.

According to Cydney Hansen, Marketing Director, at CountryHouse, a memory care community in Granite Bay, CA, it’s becoming more common to hear about sense of smell being an indicator of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. “Smells often link us to a time and place and help us to remember treasured memories,” says Cydney. “Smelling fresh-baked cookies could take seniors back to a time where they baked cookies with their children or parents, inhaling the scent of their spouse’s cologne or perfume can help them remember special occasions where their loved one wore it. The power of scents are undeniable, but when they start to fade, it could signal trouble is on the horizon, so be sure to pay close attention.”

Sense of smell and alzheimer’s disease

It’s important to realize that losing your sense of smell as you age doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll end up being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, it can be a normal sign of other illnesses, side effects from medications seniors are taking and part of the normal aging process. However, there are more common scents that could be an indicator that your brain isn’t processing scents the way it should be. Take notice if you begin to have trouble identifying the following smells.

  • Peppermint
  • Fish
  • Orange
  • Rose
  • Leather

According to Prevention, the ability to smell these scents could potentially determine the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. This study, which consisted of testing 3,000 adults age 57 to 85 over a five-year period, determined that those who were unable to identify four out of these five scents were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with dementia within five years. Those who could smell more than this amount, were not.

What causes this change? According to the article, a few things can. Jayant Pinto, MD and professor at the University of Chicago, states that the cells that detect smells connect to the olfactory bulb located at the base of the brain. This is what controls sense of smell, emotions and memory. As sense of smell is associated with brain function, it’s not surprising to see how this could help indicate early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. However, he states more research will need to be done in order to determine what causes and links these issues further.

What this finding means for Alzheimer’s research

As the 6th leading causes of death in the United States, and because it affects 5.7 million Americans, this is a big discovery for Alzheimer’s research. Not only can it increase the likelihood that seniors get diagnosed sooner, but it can also help seniors and their families to do a number of things, including:

  • Plan for the future. The sooner seniors get diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the more likely it is that they can continue to make financial plans, legal plans and more on their own. This is a crucial step to make it easier for loved ones to understand seniors’ wishes for the future.
  • Tour memory care communities sooner. The later seniors are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the less likely they will be able to choose the memory care community that fits their needs and preferences. Earlier diagnosis means being able to tour communities, experience them for yourself and choose the one that feels most like home.
  • Save money on medical costs. It can be costly and take many visits to determine if a senior has Alzheimer’s disease or not, so by finding a new symptom, it could help lead to a quicker diagnosis. In fact, an early and accurate diagnosis could save seniors and their families up to $7.9 trillion combined, according to the Alzheimer’s Association®.

For more information about Alzheimer’s disease or to take a tour of our community, contact the team at CountryHouse at Granite Bay. We’d be happy to help you navigate Alzheimer’s disease and provide you with the caring and dedicated support your deserve. Call us today at 916•850•2774.

Treating people like family is at the heart of what we do.

CountryHouse at Granite Bay is the very first CountryHouse location in California. With a desirable location among Folsom Lake and the Sierra foothills, and only 25 miles northeast of Sacramento, Granite Bay was the perfect area to place our upscale memory care community. While CountryHouse at Granite Bay may be brand new to California, we are certainly not new to the needs of seniors. And just like every CountryHouse around the United States, we know that personalized care can make all the difference when it comes to quality care and peace of mind.

At CountryHouse at Granite Bay, we provide personalized memory care in an environment that is beautiful and thoughtfully designed. Full of natural light, warmth and tasteful elegance, we want residents and their families to feel welcome and at home. In fact, our staff members are even hand-picked based on their natural empathy. Our staff learns each resident’s story, from their likes and dislikes to their values and their pasts, in order to customize care and make meaningful connections that provide residents with true moments of joy and the desire to make the most of each day.

With our LifeCycles wellness programming, we encourage residents to connect, engage and enjoy every day. Our LifeCycles programming is designed to focus on the four dimensions of wellness: physical, social, spiritual and intellectual. We achieve this through a range of daily activities and routines, which can include daily bus rides, cookouts, trips and other special events. At CountryHouse at Granite Bay, we strive to make sure our residents make the most of each day, and we believe that when you treat people like family, and keep that at the heart of what you do, residents, their families and their health thrive. Contact us to learn more!

Connect with us today or call us at 916•850•2774 for more information or to schedule a visit.

CountryHouse is part of the Agemark family of senior living communities.