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6 Foods for Aging Adults with Parkinson’s to Avoid

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Diet and nutrition play a big role in boosting general health in seniors with Parkinson’s. Although there isn’t a single Parkinson’s diet plan recommended by doctors, it’s generally understood that certain foods are better than others. You already know your senior loved one should be eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, you should watch out for these six foods that may need to be avoided as much as possible.

1. High-Protein Foods

Your loved one needs to eat protein as part of a balanced diet. However, some people with Parkinson’s disease find taking their medication with high-protein foods can make it difficult to absorb the right levels of the medicine to control their symptoms. If your loved one falls into this category, talk to his or her doctor about how to include protein in the diet. Some seniors may need to decrease the amount of protein they eat, while others may just need to change the timing.

2. Dairy Products

No one is sure why it happens, but people who eat large amounts of dairy products seem to have a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s. Those who have already been diagnosed with the disease can slow its progression by limiting how much dairy they consume. Your loved one should also choose low-fat options when he or she does consume dairy products such as cheese or milk.

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care Amarillo, TX, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

3. Processed Foods

People with Parkinson’s often experience constipation. Processed foods tend to lack fiber, which can make it difficult for older adults to have proper bowel movements. These packaged foods also tend to be high in salt and nitrites, which aren’t good for brain health.

4. Hard-to-Chew Foods

As Parkinson’s disease progresses, your loved one might have a difficult time chewing and swallowing food. To prevent choking, you may need to explore new ways to cook healthy foods such as vegetables rather than serving them raw. Stews are a great way to soften both meat and vegetables, and you can also create dishes such as mashed potatoes and pureed carrots to satisfy your loved one’s nutritional needs.

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional elder care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.

5. Salty Foods

Seniors need good blood circulation throughout the body to minimize the effects of Parkinson’s symptoms. Salty foods, such as chips and canned goods, can lead to issues such as high blood pressure, which can make Parkinson’s symptoms worse.

6. Acidic Foods

The medications prescribed for seniors with Parkinson’s disease can sometimes cause nausea as a side effect. Nausea can cause seniors to dread meals, which could be a major impediment to achieving their nutritional goals. Observe your loved one’s symptoms to determine if he or she gets nauseated after meals. If so, you may want to limit serving acidic foods such as citrus until your loved one has had time to process medication. 

Seniors living with serious health conditions often need extensive assistance to age in place. If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the Amarillo, TX, live-in care professionals at Home Care Assistance are here to help. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method was designed to promote longevity by encouraging seniors to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental engagement, and other important lifestyle factors. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Home Care Assistance team at (806) 803-9991 today.