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Seniors with Cognitive Issues Can’t Always Smell Natural Gas

As we age, we often have problems with our ability to smell (called olfactory dysfunction). Older people might not be able to identify an odor or differentiate one odor from another. In some cases, they might not be able to detect an odor at all. These odors could be the rotten egg smell used in natural gas and propane or even the smell of food gone bad!

Odor identification difficulties are common in people with neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. And, olfactory dysfunction is often present before other cognitive symptoms appear.

Here in Central Texas, many of us use natural gas to heat our homes and to cook with so it is a good idea to make sure our seniors who have natural gas in their homes can actually smell the very distinct odor if there is a gas leak! If they can’t, safety measures must be put in place such as a gas leak detector or protective covers for the stove knobs.

Bad food can also be hazardous to our senior’s wellbeing. Old fruit, vegetables and leftovers in the fridge are often the culprit in food poisoning incidents.  So, frequent caregiving visits to check the refrigerator and make healthy fresh meals are also advisable to prevent a trip to the emergency room!

These safety tips are some of the more than 140 safety items that Senior Helpers looks for during our LIFE Profile assessment process and care plan design for our clients.

Make sure to bookmark this blog and share with friends and family as we continue to Deliver Better Outcomes for Seniors.

Frank Hayes is the Owner of Senior Helpers in greater Austin Texas and a Research Fellow with Performance Based Healthcare Solutions. He can be reached at . Senior Helpers’ Facebook page is