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My mom has been fussing that nothing tastes how it should and also has an issue with smells. She sprays half a can of air freshener in the house and while everyone else is gagging, she is still spraying! I am concerned that she will poison the cats with all this junk. (it is a dollar store rose scent not specifically pet approved). We have tried reasoning with her but there is no reasoning with her. She always says "I am the mother". We have asked Dr. for help but she does not take the medication that he prescribes and he does nothing to re-enforce the importance of things. She refuses to even go to the Dr.'s office anymore. They have told me to dial 911 and tell them of a mental change when she gets combative but she comes out of it as fast as she goes into it. The taste and smell are the latest battle...any suggestions?

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"marinated in roses..." hahahahaha! Thanks for my laugh of the day!

Use of fragrances has changed so much since women regularly used perfume. I've been to a few medical offices which post notices not to use perfume because others may have allergies to the fragrances.

On a related level, one of the offices in the anti-coagulation clinic medical building has a sign "No nuts or peanuts in this office." I hope they mean the kind that grow on trees.

And some of the so-called fresheners have chemicals with toxic qualities.

Older folks' home do have that stuffy, no breeze odor.

Flyer, one option might be to get a HEPA air filter. I bought one for my father, he bought one for me and we both use it to freshen the air. It also cools the air a bit. And it does remove odors.

I have a vague recollection that some plants can absorb odors but I don't recall which ones offhand.

Putting pots of herbs might help for the immediate vicinity. Your parents or you can rub the leaves as you walk by. Mint and lemon are especially refreshing. Sweet Annie Artemisia is heavenly and of course there's lavender and lavender sachets.
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I don't think one needs to have dementia to lose their sense of taste or smell... I think it just happens when one becomes older.

With my Mom there is a taste issue, and it seems like any fresh produce I buy on the on-line grocery delivery service "taste funny" even though I order the same for myself and it taste great. And my Dad has said he can't smell things like he use to. Actually I wish my parents would use some type of air freshener, or either open up some windows to let in fresh air.

That reminds me back when I was a child, I noticed that the much older ladies had on such heavy perfumes, they all smelled like they marinated in roses :P
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Has your mother ever taken Amiodarone for a cardiac condition? Our neurologist told us it can cause loss of taste and sense of smell, as well as neuropathy. My father in fact did suffer a loss of taste and smell.
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Agree with all of the above. Talk to her doc about what you have observed. what goes in dementia is REASONING. Dementia patients take in sensory inputs, but often cannot make sense of them any longer. What feels like pain to us, feels like something else to them. If this is a change in mental status, it needs to be reported to physician as such.
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The first sense to go is "common sense". LOL. Sorry had to interject humor.

But, yes since this is brain disease, the brain and therefore senses are affected. Smell and taste are commonly affected. Favorites start losing their taste. Smells either are more intense or less intense, especially the latter. When you can't smell, this also affects taste. If you can't smell it, it appears to have no taste and elders can lose interest in foods and meals.

Understand your concern about the aerosols, perfumes, air fresheners. Lock them up in a cabinet so she is less likely to use. Consider giving her plug ins for her living areas. Open windows or run fans whenever possible.

Do talk to dr about your observations. Try to get her to a follow up appt.
I think the dr meant to call 911 if she becomes physically combative or out of control or psychotic.
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Funny that your mother says "I am the mother"!! Mine says the same darn thing! LOL, just don't ask her whose mother she is, as she doesn't know. Also, her taste buds are going. Things she used to love she now doesn't like how they taste.

I agree with pam, options are not an option...put her meds in her food ...it is important to keep her in an even place or else all he double ll breaks loose!

Good luck!
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Videotape her outbursts with a cell phone or nanny cam. Throw away the spray cans, good grief, even Febreze can kill a parrot. As far as the meds go, you TELL her to take them, you do not ask her. It's either take the meds or go to a place where they lock the doors. Do not offer options. Dementia is very sneaky and can attack anywhere in the brain.
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