The complex machinery of the brain needs the appropriate nutrients to function properly. Certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies commonly lead to cognitive impairment that closely resembles some types of dementia. By ensuring diets contain these vital elements, seniors can enjoy better cognitive health and boost their memory.
Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
Thiamine is plentiful throughout the central nervous system and is responsible for conducting nerve impulses. A lack of the vitamin causes a condition known as Korsakoff syndrome, which is common among alcoholics and people with AIDS and often presents as memory loss.
Memory loss in seniors can be the result of a variety of factors, and its severity can range from annoying to debilitating. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Lincoln live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.
Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
Folic acid, or folate, is prominent in fresh produce and lentils. The liver stores half of the body’s folic acid requirement, which is why people with liver disease are often deficient in B vitamins. Vitamin B9 is necessary for forming nerve tissue and synthesizing amino acids. Many older adults find that after increasing their vitamin B9 intake, their memory receives a boost.
Cobalamin (Vitamin B12)
A diet deficient in vitamin B12 has been shown to cause memory impairment. However, taking higher than normal doses of the nutrient has no known effect. Diets containing sufficient amounts of cobalamin and omega-3 fatty acids slow cognitive impairment in seniors with Alzheimer’s. Older adults may be deficient if they’re vegetarians or experience gastrointestinal disorders. Fish, poultry, and fortified cereals are good sources of B12.
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
Most vitamin C is found in brain tissue and the pituitary gland. The nutrient is necessary to synthesize the neurotransmitter dopamine. Ascorbic acid is also known to protect neurons from oxidative stress. As vitamin C isn’t stored in the body, seniors need to ensure they get 90 milligrams of the vitamin daily.
Tocopherol (Vitamin E)
Some believe vitamin E is necessary for cognitive function in the elderly. Elevated doses have proven beneficial in some seniors with mild to moderate cases of Alzheimer’s. However, aging adults shouldn’t take more than 1,000 IU of vitamin E daily. Most people aren’t deficient in the nutrient, but individuals who maintain a low-fat diet may not get enough vitamin E. Good sources include dark-colored fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
If your loved one is experiencing cognitive decline, a professional caregiver can help by preparing nutritious meals and encouraging your loved one to engage in cognition-boosting exercises. 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 in-home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.
In addition to vitamins, certain minerals are necessary for brain tissue health. Calcium regulates neurotransmissions and nerve tissue excitability. Low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, fortified cereals, and juices are good sources of the mineral. However, the body also needs vitamin D for complete calcium absorption.
Magnesium must be present for B vitamins to transform into a useful form. The nutrient has been shown to boost short and long-term memory, and it plays a role in transmitting nerve impulses. Calcium and magnesium are also responsible for preventing overexcitability.
Zinc is found in certain neurons in the frontal lobe of the brain. A deficiency of the nutrient causes neurological and psychological issues. Seniors with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are often zinc deficient. Foods rich in the mineral include beef, shrimp, and pumpkin seeds.
If your loved one finds it challenging to get the necessary amount of vitamins and nutrients every day, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care service. Lincoln families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (916) 226-3737.