In most cases, it can be difficult to know exactly how dementia patients should be cared for, what their individual needs are, how to help them manage their illness, and how to prevent or slow down its progression. Believe it or not, simple lifestyle changes such as proper nutrition and regular mental and physical exercises can significantly improve dementia symptoms and even stop them from getting worse.
Foods That Are Beneficial for Dementia Patients
We often forget that food actually carries a great deal of important vitamins and nutritional value that is vital for excellent physical and mental health. Both the physical and mental benefits of food are closely tied together and they each play an important role in preventing dementia early on in life and slowing down its degenerative destruction as we get older.
Long-term care facilities are usually well-equipped when it comes to providing healthy meal plans for dementia patients. Unfortunately, not all homecare dementia patients get the same level of care, and sometimes their dietary needs are neglected or improperly implemented. Below is a list of several types of foods that should be included in the diets of dementia patients.
Leafy Greens and Fruit
As people get older, constipation becomes an increasingly arduous issue for them. This usually has a lot to do with a severe lack of fibre in their diets. Dementia patients sometimes either forget to eat or simply don’t feel hungry as often as they used to because their brains no longer send signals to their stomachs telling them when it’s time to eat something. That’s why older people need to include a lot of leafy green, fibre-rich vegetables, and fruit in their diets.
Berries and Cherries
Berries and cherries are an excellent source of fibre, anti-oxidants, vitamin C, vitamin E, as well as anthocyanin, which fights off free radicals that can cause further brain damage.
Spices not only add a great deal of flavour to recipes that would otherwise taste bland and unappetizing, but they also have numerous health benefits. Certain spices such as turmeric, sage, cinnamon, and cumin are especially helpful for people with dementia because they also have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling of the brain, which is the culprit behind many memory-related problems for elderly people.
Omega-3-Rich Foods and Supplements
Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial because they can actually help lower the risk of developing dementia by about 26% by reducing the opportunity for lesions to form on the brain. These include various types of fish, olive oil, flax seeds, and even some supplements.
Various Types of Seeds
Seeds are generally extremely rich in vitamin E, choline, zinc, tryptophan, and omega-3 fatty acids. All of these vitamins and nutrients provide different health benefits such as fighting off depression (which is a serious problem for many people suffering from dementia), staving off cognitive decline, and improving brain functions.
Caring for someone with dementia can be rather challenging, but it can also be full of rewarding and heartfelt moments as well. Oftentimes, it’s hard for family members to figure things out on their own and understand just what their loved one truly needs to thrive in spite of their illness. That’s where good quality assisted living programs for people with dementia can be a saving grace for most families. At Home Care Assistance – Kitchener, Waterloo, and Guelph, we’re completely committed to making sure your loved one gets the attentive and respectful care they need and deserve. For more information on our services, please call us today at (519) 954-2111.