Because Alzheimer’s has such a significant impact on a senior’s wellbeing, it’s important for families and doctors to take whatever steps they can to catch the disease in its earliest stages and slow its progression. Here’s how using a smell test might come into play in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease.
The Side Effects of Alzheimer’s
In its earliest stages, Alzheimer’s can produce a number of unique side effects that are often difficult to track. Families might notice their senior loved ones have a difficult time smelling certain odours or differentiating between various odours. Though everyone’s senses deteriorate with age, families should be wary of any dramatic changes within a short period.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Catching Alzheimer’s Early
There’s currently no known cure for Alzheimer’s, but doctors can still take measures to slow the rate of cognitive decline. As long as the condition is caught early, many seniors are able to preserve their quality of life for years with comprehensive treatment plans. If Alzheimer’s isn’t diagnosed early, doctors generally try to address the side effects as much as possible. This is why it’s so important to continue finding ways to accurately diagnose dementia-related disorders before too much brain damage has taken place.
There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Victoria senior home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.
Researching Odour Identification
Brain scans are often an effective method of catching Alzheimer’s, but they’re prohibitively expensive for many people. Two recent studies have found a simple odour test can help doctors correctly diagnose dementia cases at just a fraction of the cost. During these studies, a group of nearly 400 aging adults were given the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT). The same group was then screened for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia five years later, and those who had lower UPSIT scores had much higher rates of dementia.
Is UPSIT Enough?
When it comes to chronic disorders like Alzheimer’s, seniors and their loved ones should always err on the side of caution. A preliminary odour test is just one of the many tools that can be used to identify dementia-related disorders. If your loved one has recently begun experiencing problems with any of his or her senses, you should immediately schedule an appointment with a doctor for more testing.
The days, weeks, and months following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging for both seniors and their families. However, these challenges can be made less stressful with the help of caregivers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. Victoria Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (250) 592-4881