ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Senior Adults' Sense of Smell Issues

Updated on April 24, 2014

Aging isn't smelly

In fact, it is the opposite.  Sense of smell declines as we reach our later years.  This impacts three aspects of the senior adult's life.

Getting old stinks.
Getting old stinks. | Source


Sadly, because our sense of taste is crucially related to our sense of smell - as the nose goes, so do the taste buds. Bleccch! Foods previously relished seem less flavorful. And, if an individual is losing appetite, this phenomenon does not help matters.

Personal Hygiene

If one can't smell as keenly as before, some of those past cues for the need to wash are gone. Thus, we have elders with the potential for stinky bodies and/or stinky clothing. Have you ever worn a top for so brief a time, that you defer washing it and "sniff the pits" to see if it can be re-worn before laundry day? Well, since the smelling faculty is impaired, some seniors are wearing clothing that should have failed the "pit sniff test." Another aspect of this decreased sense of smell on personal hygiene is the over-perfumed little old lady. She applies a little cologne, but can't perceive that any is there. So, she keeps pouring it on. Literally.

Cleanliness and Safety of the Home

Our smell sense gives us valuable information. Is the food rotten? Is the milk still good? What IS that odor in the sink? Receiving accurate feedback helps us stay healthy. Cleanliness may or may not draw one closer to the Almighty, but it certainly contributes to healthy living. A particularly troubling location for losing smell is the bathroom. Older men have the double whammy of, shall we say, losing their nose and losing their aim at the toilet? Smell can cue those in the household for the need to clean the bathroom floors or walls. An even more serious loss is the ability to detect smoke or gas.

Also, a loss of smell can interfere with the care of pets. I recently heard the sad story of an older woman who took her dog to the vet because she believed the pet had not toileted in 4 days. The truth was that Fido indeed had not done any business outside when she put him out. This was because Fido had already relieved himself inside the house under her bed for those four days. Not good.


We hope for enjoyment of life, health, and meaningful tasks everyday of our lives.  Hopefully, with an awareness of these issues, we can make adaptations to continue our pursuit of these and to continue to smell the roses.

Copyright 2011 Maren Morgan.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)