Healthy Lifestyle Choices
For most people, the aging process is difficult and introduces certain challenges that they haven’t encountered before, from physical changes to those closer to the heart and soul. Regardless of our age, we all need to strive towards a balanced, healthy diet so we can maintain a quality lifestyle as long as possible, but even more when approaching older age.
This is particularly true in cases where there are certain health issues, especially Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Poor living conditions and bad nutrition can greatly worsen both the physical and behavioral symptoms and in extreme cases, even lead to massive weight loss.
Therefore, if you have a loved one suffering, it’s highly important to get as informed and educated as possible about this condition, so that you could deal with its challenges. Whether the patient with dementia wishes to stay at home with family support or you opt to join a dementia care community, it’s essential to know that a warm and friendly environment, good nutrition and moderate physical activity are crucial in helping patients feel better and cope with the condition.
Here are a few important factors to have in mind when caring for a dementia patient in your family.
The benefits of quality nutrition
The results of many recent studies show that the risks of dementia and Alzheimer’s can be significantly lowered in their early stages by adopting a comprehensive and customized nutrition regime. There’s a wide choice of good brain foods that are known to aid cognitive functions and help prevent brain capacity decline. By introducing more of these foods, you can help your loved ones with dementia improve the quality of their days.
As an integral part of a high-quality contemporary dementia care program, the following foods have been recognized as essential: dark-colored fruits and vegetables, avocados, nuts, cold-water fish, eggs, olive oil and even chocolate. All of them, in their specific ways, can help prevent cognitive decline, contribute to a balanced diet, help maintain the desired body weight, reduce cholesterol and blood pressure and boost memory.
A diet like this, comprised of good brain foods low in sugar and salt but high in healthy fats can make the life of your loved one with dementia happier and healthier in the long run.
The importance of social connections and support
Dementia is a degenerative and progressive type of disease that affects a large percentage of the population over 65 and causes the continual deterioration of the brain and its abilities of memory, understanding, thinking and language.
Facing such a condition, it’s imperative to help your loved one by offering support as feelings of loneliness, helplessness and confusion can worsen the condition even more. One solution is having your loved one stay at home and receive help there in the form of a home care package or support program. These usually include assistance with daily activities such as personal care and dressing, as well as some household chores and home maintenance.
Another option is a dementia care facility that offers professional care services and a highly trained staff that can support any specific needs the residents may have.
The advantages of an active lifestyle
In addition to a friendly environment and a healthy, balanced nutrition, it’s essential for dementia patients to maintain an active lifestyle as much as possible. Due to the patients’ behavioral changes and other challenges that dementia brings, many contemporary care facilities put emphasis on the patients’ overall well-being and strength. Besides high-quality nutrition, a well-designed and directed activity plan can also be instrumental in alleviating the symptoms and giving the patients a sense of purpose and meaning. Such activities can involve daily walks, swimming, dancing, gardening, yoga, Tai Chi or various arts and crafts.
Coping with a health condition such as dementia is certainly hard, both for the patient and the caregiver. It’s important to remember that even though it’s a progressive illness, you can still do a lot to help and support your loved one by educating yourself and providing the best possible care you can.