A nutritious diet for seniors is typically made up of good fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other nutrients. These elements are necessary for older adults with Alzheimer’s because they keep the brain healthy and slow the progression of the disease. Continue reading to learn what a healthy meal plan for older adults with Alzheimer’s should include.
1. Limited Sugar Intake
Refined sugars typically lack the fiber, minerals, and vitamins seniors need to treat Alzheimer’s. Therefore, a healthy meal plan doesn’t include cakes, cookies, pasta, white rice, bread made with white flour, or processed foods. Your aging loved one should eat low-fat yogurt, whole grain bread and pasta, fresh fruit, and dark chocolate instead. He or she should consume beverages with little or no sugar and drink plenty of water to avoid issues such as dry mouth and constipation, which are common in older adults with Alzheimer’s.
2. Leafy Green Vegetables
You can add vegetables to your loved one’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, providing a great source of vitamins, calcium, and iron. By eating a few cups of leafy green vegetables each day, seniors can help their brains fight against dangerous toxins that cause cognitive decline. The best leafy greens to incorporate into your loved one’s meal plan are kale, spinach, collard greens, and cabbage.
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 in-home care Amarillo, TX, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Some seniors with Alzheimer’s
3. Fatty Fish
give up red meat altogether and choose to eat seafood instead. The best seafood options are salmon, tuna, trout, and other fatty fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids. Eating meals with these fish boosts brain functioning and overall cognitive health.
4. Fresh Fruits
Blackberries, cherries, and blueberries provide the flavonoids the body needs to activate brain pathways that prevent cellular damage. Encourage your loved one to consume fresh fruit a few times each week, whether it’s added to cereal and yogurt for breakfast, included in a salad for lunch, or served as a dessert with dinner.
If you need help planning and preparing healthy meals for your loved one, a professional caregiver can be a great source of support. 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 elderly home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.
5. No Fried Foods
If your loved one wants to enjoy a piece of fried fish or chicken from time to time, that’s fine. However, fried food shouldn’t be a regular part of the meal plan because it can increase saturated fat intake and boost cholesterol levels. Amyloid-beta molecules stick to lipid cell membranes containing cholesterol, causing clusters to form. Instead of fried foods, your loved one’s meal plan should consist of baked options, including meats, seafood, side dishes, and snacks.
6. Low Sodium
Too much salt can speed up cognitive decline and decrease cognitive skills. You shouldn’t cut sodium out of your loved one’s diet altogether because low sodium levels can increase confusion and disorientation. Instead, try to incorporate low-sodium foods—such as quinoa, brown rice, chicken, turkey, sweet potatoes, dried beans, apples, and whole wheat pasta—into the meal plan.
7. Olive Oil
When preparing meals and snacks, avoid using butter and vegetable oil and opt for olive oil instead. The vitamin E and monounsaturated fats found in olive oil can protect memory and learning abilities. Eating meals and salad dressings made with olive oil can also reduce the formation of neurofibrillary tangles in the brain, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
The days, weeks, and months following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be challenging for both seniors and their families. However, these challenges can be made less stressful with the help of caregivers trained in professional Alzheimer’s care. Amarillo Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one enjoy the golden years while simultaneously managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. If your loved one needs professional home care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at (806) 803-9991 today.