Medication isn’t the only way to manage dementia symptoms. Research suggests dietary changes play a significant role in minimizing the side effects of the condition. As a trusted provider of dementia care in Milwaukee, we encourage families to make changes in how and what their loved ones eat. Doing so has many positive benefits beyond symptom management, such as increased energy, a stronger immune system, weight control, and better digestive health.
Improving Nutritional Balance
Some seniors, even those not currently displaying dementia symptoms, sacrifice important nutritional needs by not adjusting their diet to meet changes in how the body processes food. For seniors who do display some dementia symptoms, however, addressing such nutritional deficiencies may help stimulate essential brain cell activity.
Antioxidants, Unsaturated Fats, and B vitamins
Studies involving Alzheimer’s disease, the most common dementia-related condition, suggest diets rich in antioxidants, unsaturated fats, and B vitamins can help boost cognitive functioning. Antioxidants, in particular, help to prevent further cell damage by fending off unstable molecules, or free radicals.
How Caregivers Can Encourage Dietary Changes
If you provide home care for a senior loved one with dementia, convincing him or her to change a daily diet can present some challenges. One way to achieve this goal is to incorporate healthier ingredients into favorite recipes, and offer fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants as snacks between meals. Additional foods that may help manage dementia symptoms include:
- Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, mustard leaves)
- Legumes and beans
- Cruciferae family veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts)
- Cherries and berries
- Whole grains
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Certain spices (sage, cinnamon, cumin)
Dementia and related conditions present many challenges for caregivers and their loved ones that aren’t likely to be addressed by only focusing on changes to eating habits. Ultimately, the key to managing dementia symptoms is through a combination of dietary adjustments, exercises based on capabilities, doctor prescribed medications, and appropriate support systems both in and outside of the home.
Home Care Assistance of Milwaukee is a trusted senior home care provider, helping families meet the needs of their aging loved ones through quality care delivered in the comfort of home. Call us at 414-964-8000 to learn more about our specialty dementia and Alzheimer’s care for Milwaukee seniors. We offer complimentary, no-obligation consultations that can be conducted in your home, at a time most convenient for you and your family.