Unfortunately, proper nutrition can be a challenge when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. This is a worry that many families have for their loved ones. During this cognitive decline, it may become more apparent that your family member or friend has a different or even poor appetite compared to before. Therefore, they aren’t getting the right nutrients throughout the day. Here are some ways to ensure mealtimes are healthier:
1. Allow Plenty of Time to Eat
No one wants to feel rushed, especially during mealtime. Your loved one should be given at least an hour to eat at their own pace. Be patient, remind them to chew and swallow, and be sure they enjoy their meal. And it doesn’t hurt to join them for their meal, as the company might help make the situation more relaxing.
2. Add More Leafy Greens
Did you know that leafy greens have been shown to help reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s symptoms? This includes spinach, kale, collard greens, and more. They help boost cognition with their B vitamins such as folate and B9. And they don’t only need to be in salad form, as they can go great in soups, sauces, and stews!
3. Don’t Forget Omega-3’s
Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids help keep the brain healthy, so they should be included in any dietary plans. Look for olive oil, flax seeds, and especially fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna. Many studies show omega-3 is effective in fighting off Alzheimer’s and dementia. Keep this at an appropriate amount since the average human intake of omega-3s isn’t usually supposed to go above 80 mg. Or, ask a healthcare provider for safe, alternative DHA supplements.
4. Be Flexible
It’s important to remember that each meal should be flexible to change. Ensure you’re aware of your loved one’s food preferences, and keep in mind that these could change over time. It’s understandable that during a cognitive decline, your loved one’s once-favorite dish might become their least favorite, so always be open to change.
Learn if an Assisted Living Community is Right for Your Loved One
At The Arbors Assisted Living Communities, we take great care of patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. You can have peace of mind knowing your loved one is well cared for. To learn more about our communities, contact us today to schedule a tour.