One of the earliest signs of Parkinson’s disease for many people is a loss of sense of smell.
Noticed in the earliest phases of the disease, this loss affects specific smell primarily, and it tends to progress and worsen similar to other symptoms. This is a symptom thought to impact virtually all people with Parkinson’s disease, though not all people who experience loss of sense of smell have or will have Parkinson’s.
Despite being common, loss of sense of smell is considered greatly under-recognized. Many people who are living with Parkinson’s disease do not recognize that they are dealing with this loss, or don’t link it to their disease until years have passed. They are also unlikely to talk to their doctor about it, assuming it is not a serious issue, or that nothing can be done about it. While there is no cure for loss of sense of smell, as a family caregiver, it is important to recognize that this symptom can have an impact on your senior, their health, and their quality of life. Understanding this impact will help to make modifications and adaptations to your care approach to help your parent deal with this impact in the most effective ways.
Some ways loss of sense of smell can impact your senior with Parkinson’s disease:
-Sense of smell and taste are very closely linked. This means a senior with loss of sense of smell will not taste food the same way. This can result in reduced appetite and not eating a healthy diet
-Sense of smell can be used to indicate environmental hazards, such as smoke or chemicals. Not being able to smell these can put your parent at risk
-Sense of smell, as well as the taste it supports, can also be important for avoiding the dangers of potentially spoiled foods. This can make you’re senior more vulnerable to the potential for food-borne illnesses
Keeping your aging loved ones safe should be one of your top priorities in your role as a family caregiver. Starting elderly care for your aging parent can be a fantastic way to help them maintain better safety and remain in their own home throughout their later years. Particularly if your senior copes with serious challenges such as Parkinson’s disease, serious mobility issues, cognitive functioning decline, and others, the customized care of an elderly home care services provider can be instrumental in helping your parent to avoid potentially devastating injuries and accidents.
This can include helping your parent to reduce fall risk throughout the home and when outside of the home, providing medication reminders to keep them compliant and providing supervision and assistance to deal with issues such as wandering tendencies, and helping your parent to make good lifestyle choices and avoid potential dangers such as food-borne infections and accidental poisoning. Knowing your senior has this care can relieve your stress, and make you more confident in their ability to enjoy a more independent and autonomous lifestyle as they age.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Services in Boca Raton, FL, please contact the caring staff at Alan Homemaker and Companion Services. Call us at (844) 925-2644. We service Palm Beach and Broward Counties in Florida.