Many people have a misconception that dementia and Alzheimer’s are the same conditions. While dementia is the loss of thinking abilities and memory, Alzheimer’s is the most common kind of dementia. Dementia hinders communication abilities and daily activities significantly. As Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia, it too affects language, thought processes, and memory- all of which worsen with time.
Currently, more than 55 million people in the world have dementia, with almost 10 million cases being reported every year. There are strong assumptions that by 2060, 13.8 million Americans aged 65 years or older will suffer from Alzheimer’s.
Along with care and medicines for dementia and Alzheimer’s, nutritional management for Alzheimer’s and dementia is very important. Poor nutrition in Alzheimer’s and dementia patients might lead to weight loss and aggravate behavioral problems.
Let’s learn in detail about dementia and Alzheimer’s care by way of proper nutritional management.
A regular diet abounds in various macronutrients and micronutrients, requiring a perfect balance of the two l for a healthy body and mind. A well-balanced diet is important for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients to manage the decline of their health. While caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s, it is very important to keep in mind the special nutritional recommendations.
Protein: Proteins are important macronutrients that should be present in the diet of such patients. Include proteins like meat, fish, nuts, eggs, and beans in the diet to maintain a good balance.
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are one of the most important components of a balanced diet. However, for Alzheimer’s patients, carbohydrates should be given in a measured quantity due to their additional calories.
Fats: Fats are surely important, but for elderly dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, it is recommended to avoid foods with high cholesterol and saturated fats. Refrain from offering fried foods and fatty meats.
Vitamins: Patients suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s should have an adequate vitamin intake, including vitamins A, B12, E, and C. It is recommended to consume foods rich in these vitamins.
Minerals: For dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, it is recommended to avoid foods rich in minerals like iron and copper.
Foods to avoid: It is recommended to avoid sugars along with foods abounding in high cholesterol and high saturated fat. Salt intake should also be reduced.
Importance of hydration: Elderly people should consume liquids and fluids in different forms to combat dehydration. Dehydration leads to constipation, urinary tract infections, and confusion in many people suffering from dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.
See Also: What are the Best Foods to Combat Aging?
Dementia and Alzheimer’s caregivers often struggle to provide proper nutrition to the patients because of their mood fluctuations and whimsical behaviors. You can take suggestions from centers offering “dementia care near me” or contact specialized caregivers to learn some strategies for encouraging good eating habits and food nutrition.
Nutritional management for Alzheimer’s disease varies from one patient to another. Food interests and needs of different patients also vary. It is important to cook the meals as per the patient’s requirements. Also, a patient might eat small portions a couple of times during the whole day. Try serving bite-sized foods so that it is easy to eat.
When you are caring for someone with dementia, make sure that you make their mealtimes extremely enjoyable. If possible, involve other members of the family. Make mealtime a social event where everyone eats together, shares experiences, recounts some wonderful memories, and overall enjoys the mealtime.
Dementia care varies from one patient to patient. Not everyone requires assistance with eating and drinking. However, if someone needs it, offer them help in a manner that fits their situation. For example, allow plenty of time for eating. You must keep the table settings simple and remove all distractions. If someone is not able to eat or drink on their own, help them with the activity while encouraging them to try to do it by themselves.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s caregivers often struggle with common eating challenges. Alzheimer’s care teaches you to address these challenges and help improve the circumstance. Try methods that promote a relaxed eating manner to prevent the patient from feeling agitated or angry.
See Also: How Should You Communicate with Dementia Patients?
Nutritional management for Alzheimer’s disease is not a very easy job. Caregivers have to be extremely considerate with their patients. They must know the skills of devising innovative and unique ways of feeding the patients so that they adequately receive the required nutrition.
Professional home care services such as Newport Home Care offers exceptional dementia care in Newport for elderly patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The experienced caregivers at the center are some of the best in the industry. With proper training and work experience, our caregivers provide the best assistance to dementia patients. The center offers home care services on a 24-hour basis at the most affordable rates.
Contact Newport Home Care right away for the best home care services for your loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s!