Written by Brian B

What Sense Is Most Affected By Alzheimer’s Disease?

What Sense Is Most Affected By Alzheimer's Disease

Which one of the senses is most impacted by Alzheimer’s disease? Generally, smell is the first sense affected by the disease, but every sense can become impaired.


Smell is typically the first sense to be impacted by Alzheimer’s. Individuals will become confused as to what exactly they are smelling. This can become dangerous at home if something is burning in the oven or on the stove.

Some common sense measures that can keep your loved one safe include:

  • Keep all cleaning supplies locked away in a cabinet.
  • Make weekly refrigerator/freezer checks to ensure all food is up to date.
  • Ensure smoke detectors are always working properly.


While the eyes may not show any physical abnormalities, the brain’s ability to interpret some images could become impaired. This could create confusion and anxiety all while not being able to recognize familiar people, places, and objects. Colors and shapes may also be difficult to process, making sudden movements quite dangerous.

Making bold color contrasts in common areas can make a difference for anyone suffering from Alzheimer’s. Placing picture signs on doors and cabinets can help to identify needed items.


Whenever our ability to smell is impaired, the ability to taste is also impacted. Most dangers and cautions related to smell also apply to this sense.


Touch is also affected by Alzheimer’s. Individuals may have difficulty feeling the sensations of hot and cold.

Since this is potentially dangerous, it’s suggested to put these safeguards in place:

  • Install anti-scold devices on your plumbing.
  • Install safety devices to make stovetops and ovens unusable.
  • Keep individuals warm in the winter and well hydrated on hotter days.
  • Color code for any areas that are hot/cold, if possible.
  • Place a warning sticker on oven.


Alzheimer’s can impact hearing even in individuals who test well when it comes to hearing. The disease causes difficulty processing certain words and sounds. This can make noises very confusing overall.

Try as hard as possible to maintain a calm and quiet environment with few distractions or background noises. Always speak to the individual slowly and use short statements.

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