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.