Optimal Meal Planning for Seniors with Alzheimer’s

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The eating habits of seniors with Alzheimer’s can sometimes be tricky. However, to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and ensure their overall health, seniors need to follow a healthy diet. There are many different recommended foods to add to their daily intake that offer neuroprotective properties and nutrients.

Meal Considerations

Rather than sitting down to three fairly good-sized meals during the day, seniors with Alzheimer’s might be better off eating smaller meals and snacks frequently. Physicians from OSU Medical Center suggest dividing components of a meal into individual servings. Each small meal should also be nutrient dense. For example, your aging loved one might have a bowl of oatmeal first thing in the morning made with milk and topped with fresh fruit. A few hours later, offer a handful of nuts or a boiled egg and some fruit. Your loved one may have dulled taste buds that contribute to a lack of appetite, so consider using dips, seasoned gravies, and sauces to enhance the appeal.

Aging adults who need help managing mental and physical health issues can benefit from the assistance of a highly trained professional caregiver. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. Waterloo, IA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Green Leafy Vegetables—Six Servings Each Week

Arugula, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, and spinach are rich sources of vitamin B9, which is vital for nerve tissue function. Vitamin B9 has also been shown to boost cognitive function and inhibit depression. Greens also provide calcium and vitamin E, which protect neurons from inflammatory processes and the stress caused by free radicals. They’re easily served in a salad or cooked with onion, bacon bits, and mushrooms as a small meal.

Other Vegetables—One Serving Daily

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower contain vitamins A and B9. This combination of nutrients reduces homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is created from protein metabolism and is associated with cognitive impairment. Brightly colored vegetables provide a wealth of vitamins and minerals in addition to antioxidants that protect the brain.

Legumes—Three Servings Each Week

Beans and peas are good sources of choline, vitamin B9, iron, magnesium, and potassium. The neurotransmitter choline is necessary for the body to make acetylcholine, which neurons and nerve cells need to function properly.

There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading homecare provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

Berries—Two or More Servings Each Week

The blue, red, and purple colors of berries are created by the phytochemicals called anthocyanin and fisetin. These chemical compounds protect neurons from inflammation and free radical damage. Berries also provide vitamin C.

Oily Fish—Two or More Servings Each Week

Herring, mackerel, salmon, and sardines are all examples of oily fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids, which provide a protective coating that prevents beta-amyloid protein lesion development. Omega-3 fatty acids also boost cardiovascular health. In turn, optimal blood flow nourishes the brain.

Nuts—Five Servings Each Week

A handful of nuts contains vitamins B6, B9, and E along with magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, and protein. These nutrients protect the brain and enhance mood and memory.

Whole Grains—Three or More Servings Daily

Breads, pasta, and other foods made using whole grains contain vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain an abundance of fiber to prevent constipation.

If you’re the primary caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, you don’t have to go through it alone. Without the right assistance, Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors and their families to manage. If you’re looking for professional Alzheimer’s care, Waterloo Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care aging adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialized dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. If you need professional Alzheimer’s care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 319-260-2222.