The Meeting Place

Smelly old people's homes

There is a distinct smell that wofts from an older person's home when they open the door.

Its hard not to cringe as they invite you inside. As I walk along the corridor to their favourite room I mentally want to throw open every window, rip up the carpets and throw the cat outside.

I am at an age where I can still smell. Some elderly must lose this ability. It is important to me that my young visitors can come and see me as I age and leave with happy memories.

So what is it that makes old people's homes smell so bad? Is it the locked windows and stale air? Or do we as humans just rot from the inside and exude a smell that is unique to the elderly? Whatever it is I want to make sure when I can't smell anymore I have a pleasant home to welcome everyone else.

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For anyone who is befuddled by my statement “From the age of forty people’s body odours change" -   a little bit of research could have cleared that up. These links may be helpful.

Mitro S, Gordon AR, Olsson MJ, Lundström JN. The Smell of Age: Perception and Discrimination of Body Odors of Different AgesPLoS ONE, May 30, 2012 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038110

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3364187/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120530172426.htm

Interesting Kiah. From your second link:

Summary:

Humans can identify the age of other humans based on differences in body odor. Much of this ability is based on the capacity to identify odors of elderly individuals, and contrary to popular supposition, the so-called "old-person smell" is rated as less intense and less unpleasant than body odors of middle-aged and young individuals.

 LOL

Yes, that is a revelation RnR! I dare anyone to have a bunch of teenage boys for a sleepover - the pong is overpowering!

Hair washing is a problem for some older people, because many suffer arthritis, it's very difficult for them to shampoo frequently. Visiting the hairdresser is expensive for some, so all that adds to the "smell" factor. We'll probably all get there eventually :(

 

 

So can anyone  explain or describe what the difference in odour is from adults pre-40 to those post-40?..I simply have never been able to detect a difference.

Diet often exudes an odour for example people who have eaten garlic or similar.  Think the smell of alcoholic spirits linger on a person sort of through skin but seems to be the same for adults of any age.  New born babies and babies generally have a type gorgeous milky smell which sort of passes as they grow.  

I just can’t detect any difference in odour between adults pre-40 to those post-40.  If someone could describe it for me I’d be grateful so I can keep a lookout for it! 

I mean how close do you have to get to someone to detect it?

Haha. Computers aren't that clever yet.

There are lots of different human smells. From the beautiful smell of a baby, the scent of a woman, the masculine smell of a man. If you haven't noticed the difference then perhaps your environment is overloaded with other smells.

During the Vietnam war the Viet Cong could smell our troops because they smelt of dairy products and our troops could smell them because of their strong Asian diet. 

I don't know what's happened to my sense of smell. I can put on perfume in the morning after a lovely shower and by the time I get home I can't smell it at all. I can smell the odour of lovely cooking and that of people with B.O. but nothing else. I can barely detect the scent of flowers either. Maybe my hooter is not working properly. 

A good perfume is not noticed by the wearer Hola it blends in with the acid in the skin.  That is why it is useless trialing perfumes on cardboard/wood cards that the perfumery give you when they spray it onto the card.

Spray the perfume onto the bare skin and wait for a minute to see the reaction on the individual is the way to go, but then after a few seconds you need to clear your sense of smell by sniffing coffee beans!

As for 'the aged' I noticed years ago on a cruise ship that some aged people don't launder the clothing as often as they once did when younger! They themselves don't notice the 'smell' like they do not notice the 'smell' of their dirty hair.

 

Not sure about anyone else but if you do not launder your clothing, especially in hot climates or have been doing gardening/housework even in winter, the clothing has a pong to it that the wearer may not notice.   Hence I like to wear clean laundered clothing.  Certain if clothing is going to be worn the next day never put it back into the wardrobe where it will make the clean clothing pong!

Perhaps Nursing Home residents do not have a kindly relation to take their laundry home for them, as I know from years ago when my late mother left her laundry to be washed in the Home it never came back nice and fresh or was misshaped. So I visited her several times a week to collect her laundry & take her shopping.  Sad fact of life when we age we need help in so many ways.

 

As for nursing homes and 'the smell' some Homes are old and do not have air conditioning, some folks don't like using the air con regularly as the residents always feel cold when the air conditioning is on.  As we get older the blood circulation is not up to what it was in our young days and the ladies like to wear their cardigans. The guys heavy woolies, with the short staffed nursing homes they don't have the time to hand launder the jumpers hence the pong!  Sad fact of life.

Nursing home are very good on laundry. probably better than a person at home who has trouble changing the sheets and washing curtains, carpets etc etc.

You are right about the air conditioning and heating. The parent's rooms were so hot I could barely stand it.

I guess it depends on the Nursing Home;  but from experience of one of the top nursing homes in our area that is like a five star hotel, we were not impressed at all.

Laundry would go missing [perhaps they employed the dreaded sock snatcher] jumpers were out of shape just not what I would say due care was done in the Laundry.

I guess it depends on the Nursing Home;  but from experience of one of the top nursing homes in our area that is like a five star hotel, we were not impressed at all.

Laundry would go missing [perhaps they employed the dreaded sock snatcher] jumpers were out of shape just not what I would say due care was done in the Laundry.

I had an issue with my Mum who lived in semi-independent care in a Retirement Village who insiited in hand washing small items using ordinary soap which seemed to make odour even worse if the soap wasn't rinsed out properly. I managed to grab some home, soak them then wash with anti-bacterial washing detergent. I even tried putting mild perfume in the rinse water. It didn't make any difference to the odour of the clothing. At least the staff and I knew they were hygienicly clean. The staff also put a washing bag in an empty space in the top of her wardrobe which she was definitely unable to reach. I got another bag so I could just switch them over.

Tray using Sard.

I had an issue with my Mum who lived in semi-independent care in a Retirement Village who insiited in hand washing small items using ordinary soap which seemed to make odour even worse if the soap wasn't rinsed out properly. I managed to grab some home, soak them then wash with anti-bacterial washing detergent. I even tried putting mild perfume in the rinse water. It didn't make any difference to the odour of the clothing. At least the staff and I knew they were hygienicly clean. The staff also put a washing bag in an empty space in the top of her wardrobe which she was definitely unable to reach. I got another bag so I could just switch them over.

The natural body odor that occurs with aging is scientifically known as nonenal.

Persimmon extract has been found to effectively eliminate the odors that occur with aging skin.

Persimmon eliminates all kinds of body odors including nonenal.

... Japanese green tea helps the persimmon last all day long.

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