This New Food-Inspired Diffuser Could Help Patients With Dementia

Photo by ODE
This new scientific development is a true testament to the power of fragrance.

According to the Alzheimer's Association, 1 in 3 senior citizens dies with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia, half of whom are likely to lose weight as a result of the disease. As dementia and Alzheimer's develop, they often affect the eating habits of those who struggle with the disease, thus potentially leading to issues of malnutrition. A new food-inspired diffuser could aid in triggering the appetites of patients with dementia and other ailments.

Ode is an electric diffuser that can be set on an automated cycle to diffuse food-inspired scents like beef stew, chocolate cake and fresh grapefruit, to provide sensory stimulation and promote an appetite. It sounds simple, but it's all scientifically proven. According to the website, the smell of food stimulates the nervous system, which later causes your stomach to produce acid (gastric juices) to break down the meal to come. The production of gastric juices further promotes hunger, thus increasing the desire to eat. According to Ode, "often in dementia the sense of smell and taste reduce, so meals become dull and unappealing. Ode's food fragrances are formulated to be stronger and help compensate in these situations." 

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Currently ode offers a set of two menus (tasty and traditional), each of which encompasses three fragrances designed for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In an interview with Carehome, Ostrom noted that the company is set to introduce more fragrances stating, "Lots of people want personalized menus, and want to choose their own scents. We've also seen that customers like to swap scents in and out of their device more frequently (the original idea was that you could leave ode running for a couple of months and not have to touch it), but people like subbing in different scent bottles more frequently."

If you have a loved one who suffers with issues of malnutrition or suppressed appetite, ode could be just the thing you are looking for. In a recent 11-week study, ode founders tested the impact of the device on 50+ individuals living with dementia and found that 50 percent of the participant gained weight.

For more information on ode and the effects of fragrance in patients with dementia, refer to myode.org.

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