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Better Eating as an Alzheimer’s Patient

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By Shawn Turcotte

Owner of Home Instead Senior Care Edmonton, CPCA

Family traveling with grandfatherThere is no doubt that cases of people with Alzheimer’s disease are on the rise, and the numbers are sure to increase as the Baby Boomer generation ages. Caring for a loved one steeped in the throngs of this debilitating disease puts on the added pressure to watch out for their physical and mental needs. It is possible to focus so much on keeping routines in place that you forget to watch your loved one's diet.

Healthy eating is essential for us all. In a senior, it becomes even more critical. When we eat for the health of our hearts, in turn, our brains benefit since the heart pumps blood and oxygen to all parts of the body. Elder care should include a well-rounded diet that encourages blood flow to the brain.

Suggestions to Improve Diets for Alzheimer’s Patients

At Home Instead Senior Care Edmonton, we understand the health needs of your elderly family members. We help them to continue living life as independently as possible, including assisting with fixing healthy meals. Proper nutrition is vital for continued wellness. Remember when you eat with the heart in mind, the brain benefits. Consider these suggestions to help your loved one eat better:

  1. Think balance. Getting into a rut is easy. Provide your aged parent with a balanced diet with a variety of foods to eat, such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein foods.
  2. Limit the number of fats served. We all need some fats for our body to function correctly. Not all fats, however, are good for us. When it comes to those fats that are not good for the heart, like saturated fats, use them sparingly. That may mean limiting favourite fried foods.
  3. Use less salt and limit sodium-rich foods. Too much of a good thing does not make it healthy. Find alternatives to high sodium foods. Consider using herbs and spices to bring out the flavour of food.
  4. Cut back on consuming refined sugars. Sugar may be sweet, but it is full of empty calories as it lacks vitamins and minerals the body needs. Check out recipes that utilize other forms of sweeteners such as fruit or juice-sweetened baked goods.
  5. Get your senior out for some exercise. While not technically part of a balanced diet, activity is part of stable health. A little movement every day keeps the heart healthy and pumps precious oxygen throughout the body. Being out in the fresh air and getting some exercise will also encourage a healthy appetite.

Eating right and getting exercise has been a recipe for good health for years. Keep in mind the importance of a healthy heart, and the rest of the body benefits, including the brain.

Alzheimer’s care has many facets involved, thus making it difficult to keep all the balls in the air. Home Instead Senior Care serves families with loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s with the support families need. Our caregivers are highly trained and ready to help you care for your aged loved one and their health, while allowing you to maintain a work-life balance and still having time to enjoy family.

Call us at (780) 439-9990 to schedule a no-obligation in-home consultation. Learn more about the compassionate, quality senior care we deliver each day to families in our community.


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