Alzheimer’s disease can be scary and challenging to deal with. Finding the right community and lifestyle for your loved one can help navigate Alzheimer’s. It’s essential to practice good dietary habits in all stages of life but especially as you age.
Let’s take a closer look at Alzheimer’s disease and how your dietary choices can play a part in combating Alzheimer’s.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurologic disorder that causes the brain to shrink and brain cells to die. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia and represents a continuous decline in thinking, behavioral, and social skills that can affect a person’s ability to function independently.
There’s no cure for Alzheimer’s as of yet. Still, treatment can help slow the progression of the disease and temporarily improve quality of life. While anyone can get Alzheimer’s disease, people over the age of 65 and those with a family history of the condition are at a higher risk.
Some possible symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include:
- Memory loss affecting daily activities
- Trouble with familiar tasks
- Difficulties with problem-solving
- Becoming disoriented about times or places
- A decrease in personal hygiene
- Mood and personality changes
These symptoms don’t always indicate Alzheimer’s but can be an indication in some cases.
Alzheimer’s disease spans several years—so memory care is a great option to get assistance for your loved one.
Providing support for your loved one who’s dealing with Alzheimer’s is crucial. Memory care represents a safe and supportive community that is personalized and customized around your loved one’s needs.
In memory care, your loved one can expect benefits such as:
- A residential setting
- Fully furnished apartments
- Engagement for positive cognitive support
- Meaningful activities to stimulate brain functions
- Strengthening activities for walking and balance
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s on your own can be challenging. Personalized caregiving services can positively impact your loved one’s quality of life.
Some of the personalized amenities and services your loved one can look forward to include:
- Professional and dementia certified staff
- Housekeeping and laundry services
- Medications management and assistance
- Home-cooked meals
- 24-hour personal care
- Emergency response team
Your loved one deserves the best care possible, and memory care can offer a safe and supportive community.
Food Choices & Alzheimer’s
For a person dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, poor nutrition may increase behavioral problems and cause weight loss. Neglecting your loved one’s diet can worsen the effects of Alzheimer’s, and it’s essential to monitor their dietary habits.
Some general guidelines to follow when it comes to nutrition and Alzheimer’s:
- Provide your loved one with a balanced diet with various foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein foods.
- Limit foods with high saturated fat and cholesterol such as butter, solid shortening, lard, and fatty cuts of meat.
- Cut down on refined sugars that are often found in processed foods.
- Limit foods with high sodium content and use less salt in general, which can negatively affect blood pressure. A great alternative is using spices or herbs for seasoning.
As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, a loss of appetite and weight loss can become concerns. Along with dietary changes, ensuring that your loved one’s mealtimes are calm and comfortable can help them eat properly and get a full meal.
The MIND diet has been linked to positive results in people dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. This diet focuses on limiting servings of red meat, sweets, cheese, butter, and fast food.
The MIND diet focuses on plant-based foods and draws from 10 healthy food groups that include:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Other vegetables
- Whole grains
- Olive oil
While the evidence is not conclusive, there have been some links between the MIND diet and similar diets that may help reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Your diet and food intake help fuel your body and, in turn, your brain. Monitoring your loved one’s dietary habits can help combat the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and promote overall health.
Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
Your loved one’s Alzheimer’s journey can be assisted with good dietary choices and getting the necessary community support around them. Alzheimer’s is a challenging condition, so responsible food choices combined with the proper support system are essential. Contact a professional today for more information on Alzheimer’s disease and learn if memory care is right for your loved one.