One of the most challenging aspects of caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s is coming up with a good diet plan. A recent study published by Alzheimer’s Disease International found that nearly half of all people with this disease experience malnutrition or chronic dehydration. To prevent the side effects of malnutrition, you must come up with a comprehensive diet plan that is going to boost your loved one’s immune system, energy levels, and cognitive health. Here are a few important things to consider.
Switch to Healthy Meals
Many seniors with Alzheimer’s tend to eat the same foods every day, which increases their risk of malnutrition. Seniors with Alzheimer’s must eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and meats to get enough vitamins and minerals. If your loved one has become a picky eater, try to add different healthy ingredients into his or her favorite dishes. An example would be adding a few extra vegetables to a baked potato or wedge salad. You can also try to make bland vegetables more exciting to eat. Your loved one might be more likely to eat vegetable sticks if they are accompanied by his or her favorite dipping sauces.
Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Lincoln in-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.
Avoid Certain Foods
High blood pressure, obesity, and type 2 diabetes are common among seniors with Alzheimer’s. These diseases can be devastating, but most seniors can prevent them with proper diet. Substances such as processed sugar and trans fats can also increase a senior’s risk of brain inflammation and cognitive decline. As a general rule, processed foods and ingredients should be kept to an absolute minimum. However, loss of appetite can be a major concern in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease. At this point, you might need to offer your loved one’s favorite treats so he or she gets enough calories every day.
Consider Serving Superfoods
Researchers now know that dietary choices have a major impact on an individual’s cognitive abilities. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain a wide variety of nutrients that boost brain health, including calcium, magnesium, and vitamins C, D, and E. Almost all these substances can be found in superfoods such as blueberries, strawberries, kale, quinoa, broccoli, and almonds.
Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease may need some assistance preparing nutritious meals and making healthier lifestyle choices. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Lincoln seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
Add Supplements and Shakes to the Diet
Alzheimer’s disease often makes eating full meals difficult, and there may come a point when you need to add supplements and shakes to your loved one’s diet. Quite a few companies are now producing flavorful shakes packed with essential nutrients. Caregivers who would like to prepare their own shakes should invest in a high-quality blender and airtight mugs. Honey, ginger, and apple slices can be used to mask the flavors of other superfoods like kale and spinach.
Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who do not have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. For trusted Lincoln Alzheimer’s care, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. To learn more about our revolutionary Alzheimer’s home care plans, give us a call at 916.226.3737.