The MIND diet isn’t going to cure Alzheimer’s, but it can mitigate some of the most common symptoms of this debilitating disease. Dr. Martha Morris is the nutritional epidemiologist who created the MIND diet, and she has helped many seniors with Alzheimer’s over the last few years. This diet emphasizes nutrient-dense foods that are excellent for cognitive health as well as physical wellbeing. Here’s a closer look at why this diet has become so popular among seniors with Alzheimer’s and their doctors.
Alzheimer’s and Cognitive Deterioration
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder that negatively impacts cognitive abilities. This condition slowly kills off brain cells over the course of a few years, and the body isn’t able to repair or replace those cells quickly enough. Some of the most common symptoms of this disorder include memory loss, poor decision-making skills, and difficulty completing everyday tasks. While researchers are working on many promising treatments for Alzheimer’s, there’s currently no cure, which is why many experts suggest making sweeping lifestyle changes to minimize or reverse some of the most common symptoms.
A Look at the MIND Diet
MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, and this diet was designed specifically for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The MIND diet encourages followers to eat a wide variety of fresh vegetables, berries, fish, and nuts. Those who are sticking to the MIND diet also need to cut out all processed foods. Some of the other foods to avoid while on the MIND diet include red meats, cheeses, and margarine. Dr. Morris also encourages having one glass of red wine per day while following this diet, but seniors should always check with a doctor before consuming any alcohol.
A professional caregiver with training in nutrition can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement as your loved one adopts new healthy habits, including eating more nutritious foods. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Cleveland elderly home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
Benefits of the MIND Diet
Quite a few studies have been carried out on the MIND diet, and that research has revealed that this diet can enhance many different aspects of a senior’s health. Several of the foods eaten while on the MIND diet can reduce inflammation of the brain and minimize oxidative stress. This diet is also a great option for those who would like to lose some weight. By cutting processed food out of the diet, it will be much easier to shed unwanted pounds. Over the course of a few months, the MIND diet might also help seniors reduce their cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Family caregivers need to maintain a healthy lifestyle too, which involves self-care and making time to attend to their own wellbeing. In Cleveland, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.
Other Lifestyle Changes to Make
When it comes to combating the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, most seniors will need to make sweeping lifestyle changes. In addition to following a nutritious diet, seniors with Alzheimer’s should also challenge their intellectual abilities. Playing board games, learning to play an instrument, and socializing with peers can trigger the production of healthy new brain cells. Physical exercise plays an important role as well, and seniors should try to exert themselves for at least 30 minutes a day.
Professional caregivers with training and expertise in nutrition and methods of cognitive stimulation can be a wonderful asset for seniors with Alzheimer’s. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. Cleveland families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. 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 (440) 332-0170 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.