Is your loved one losing weight?
Saying that something smells bad when it doesn’t or isn’t?
Always complaining that food either has no taste, or everything tastes like metal?
Why is this happening?
No one knows for sure but one explanation is that the place in the brain that processes smell is right next to the hippocampus. This is the place where the brain stores memory. Alzheimer’s disease starts in this part of the brain and spreads.
Losing ones sense of smell may not seem that bad, but most of what we taste is actually from our sense of smell. The tongue itself can only detect sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and spicy. Therefore, food is less appealing.
One thing to try is increasing the amount of flavorings. For example, if a recipe calls for a half teaspoon of cinnamon try double or triple the amount. You might also see if your loved one enjoys more spicy foods such as Thai or Indian curry. Experiment to find new foods that they may like the best. It may be different from what they liked in the past.
If anything works, please let us know and share your experiences!
Jaime has served the health care community in Wichita for over 30 years in dementia care, hospice care, home health and has the unique experience of being the director of nursing for a dementia care assisted living community.
She has vast experience assessing the needs of those living with dementia, their families and care partners. Upon gaining her certification as a Positive Approach to Care® Trainer, Jaime stated “I understood that many of the techniques I used to care “with” those living with dementia worked, but now I have an understanding of WHY they worked! And I want to help you understand it too!”
Jaime’s favorite quote is “Every day is a new day to those living with dementia. And it can be for us as well!’