Meal Planning for an Aging Parent with Alzheimer’s Disease

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Alzheimer’s disease can often be managed with lifestyle changes that boost overall health. While your senior loved one should still enjoy a few favorite treats, he or she should switch to an overall healthier diet. Alzheimer’s symptoms may also make it difficult for seniors to prepare healthy meals safely and independently. For this reason, you need to take these steps to help with meal planning so your loved one gets the nutrition he or she needs to slow the progression of the condition. 

Consider Heart Health

Many Alzheimer’s symptoms are also related to poor blood flow to the brain. Make sure to think about your loved one’s heart health during the meal-planning sessions. For example, limiting processed and refined foods can lower blood pressure so your loved one has better circulation throughout the body. With better blood flow, the brain receives the oxygen it needs to function properly. 

Aging adults who need help managing mental and physical health issues can benefit from the assistance of highly trained professional caregivers. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elderly home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Include Healthy Fats

Omega-3 fatty acids are known for promoting better brain health by slowing down oxidative stress within the cells. Red meat should be limited in your loved one’s diet and replaced with healthier options, such as salmon, that contain omega-3 fatty acids. If your loved one doesn’t enjoy fish, you can also find healthy fats in plant-based sources, such as walnuts and avocados. 

Provide Plenty of Fiber

Certain Alzheimer’s medications can cause aging adults to develop constipation. Help your loved one avoid this uncomfortable symptom by adding healthy sources of fiber to his or her diet. Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables all contain fiber, and they’re also great for the heart. Just make sure to add fiber to your loved one’s diet slowly to prevent gas pains and other potential negative side effects. 

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 Richmond homecare services provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

Make Food Easy to Swallow

Eating healthy meals can pose several challenges for seniors with Alzheimer’s. Some seniors develop dry mouth because the sense of thirst diminishes or as a side effect of Alzheimer’s medications. If your loved one develops dry mouth, plan meals with beverages he or she can use to soften the food. For instance, dunking a crusty piece of whole-grain bread in milk moistens it so it goes down more easily. Your loved one may also need food to be cut into smaller pieces if he or she is in the later stages of the disease, when the abilities to chew and swallow food are affected. 

Decide Who Can Help

An aging adult with Alzheimer’s disease may not be able to cook unattended once the condition progresses to a certain level. Plan now for who can help with preparing meals. For instance, a home caregiver can assist with chopping healthy vegetables and heating food. 

Without the right assistance, Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors and their families to handle. If you’re looking for professional Alzheimer’s care, Richmond Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care aging adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialized dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at (804) 207-4746 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.


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