Dementia Care

Superfoods That Can Improve Your Memory

While many superfood compounds are made available in pill form as nutritional supplements, they are most readily absorbed and utilized by your body in their natural form, as foods.

Dr. Susan Taylor Mayne, professor at Yale University, told the Scientific American, “A major problem with supplements is that they deliver nutrients out of context. The vitamins found in fruits, vegetables and other foods come with thousands of other phytochemicals, or plant nutrients that are not essential for life but may protect against… Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic ailments.”

Memory Boosting Superfoods That Fight Alzheimer’s” an Alzheimers.net article, discusses the best superfoods for the brain, which you can find at any supermarket.

So next time you go shopping, treat yourself to some of the delicious, nutritious brain-healthy foods below:

Leafy Greens and Other Vegetables

Vegetables, particularly leafy green vegetables, have been shown to have protective effects on the brain according to research published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology. Research shows that not just leafy greens are beneficial, but vegetable intake in general, is beneficial for your health.

A study in the Journal of Nutritional Health and Aging states clearly: “Increased intake of vegetables is associated with a lower risk of dementia and slower rates of cognitive decline in old age.”

One important note: seniors who take blood thinners should avoid greens like kale which is high in vitamin K, as this can potentially cause dangerous drug interactions.

Fish, Flax Seeds and Nuts

According to research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, omega-3 fatty acids, which are commonly found in some fish, grains and nuts, can potentially help to slow the rate of decline in Alzheimer’s.

Similar findings were reported in the European Journal of Nutrition. Both studies acknowledge further research is necessary and the Alzheimer’s Association adds, “there is not yet sufficient evidence to recommend any omega-3 fatty acids to treat Alzheimer’s disease.”

Because foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids are naturally some of the healthiest foods there are, they are beneficial to whole-body health even if the scientific community hasn’t confirmed that they can actually slow Alzheimer’s.

Chocolate, Coffee and Spices

Chocolate and coffee contain caffeine, which studies have shown can improve brain function and memory.

A study in the International Journal of Molecular Scienceindicated that caffeine may “slow Alzheimer’s disease pathology” through inhibiting a neurotransmitter believed to be associated with Alzheimer’s, acetylcholinesterase. A study published in Molecular Medicine Reports seemed to confirm potential benefits, finding that daily caffeine intake is associated with “significantly increased memory capability,” and may “reverse memory impairment.”

Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and turmeric are also rich in their own unique compounds and may have multiple cognitive benefits. The journal Central Nervous Systems Agents in Medicinal Chemistry says, “the neuroprotective effects of spices have been demonstrated and, whether directly or indirectly, such beneficial effects may also contribute to an improvement in cognitive function.” Spices contain so many compounds that they have multiple potential beneficial modes of action, including “anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-hypertensive and gluco-regulatory.”

Dark Skinned Fruits with Antioxidants

Scientists have also been exploring the benefits of antioxidants and there is some evidence that dietary antioxidants may improve cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.

For example, one study reported on in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that an antioxidant may be able to reduce plaques in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s. Foods high in antioxidants include: berries like raspberries, strawberries, oranges and other dark skinned fruits.

Healthy Oils Like Coconut Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Coconut oil is being investigated for its Alzheimer’s fighting effects. One study, found in the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, even investigated the possibility of using coconut oil to replace an approved medicine used to treat Alzheimer’s (caprylidene).

While further research is required, there is strong anecdotal evidence for the benefits of coconut oil for dementia. Dr. Mary T. Newport’s book, “Alzheimer’s Disease: What if There Was a Cure?,“ strongly argues that coconut coconut oil may help people with Alzheimer’s.

Olive oil also contains the above mentioned compounds, polyphenols. The particular phenols unique to olive oil may be particularly neuroprotective according to a study published in Nutritional Neuroscience.

 Article from "APlaceForMom.com"

Communicating With Loved Ones With Dementia

Understanding how to connect and communicate with our loved ones through this time is of the utmost importance. Learn more from these communication strategies for dementia. Here are 5 tips on how to effectively communicate with someone who has moderate to severe dementia.

  1. Recognize what you’re up against. Dementia inevitably gets worse with time. People with dementia will gradually have a more difficult time understanding others, as well as communicating in general.

  2. Avoid distractions. Try to find a place and time to talk when there aren’t a lot of distractions present. This allows your loved one to focus all their mental energy on the conversation.

  3. Speak clearly and naturally in a warm and calm voice. Refrain from ‘babytalk’ or any other kind of condescension.

  4. Refer to people by their names. Avoid pronouns like “he,” “she,” and “they” during conversation. Names are also important when greeting a loved one with dementia. For example: “Hi, Grandma.  It’s me, Jeff,” is to be preferred over, “Hi. It’s me.”

  5. Talk about one thing at a time. Someone with dementia may not be able to engage in the mental juggling involved in maintaining a conversation with multiple threads.

Why More Men Are Moving to Assisted Living Communities

Traditionally, it’s been mostly women in assisted living homes. As the life expectancy for men continues to increase, the ratio of men to women has shifted within assisted living homes. Currently, the average lifespan for men in the United States in 76 but in other countries in the world, the life expectancy is as high as 81.7 years old. While women’s life expectancies have remained fairly stagnant over the last 25 years, men’s have continued to increase steadily upwards. Although their longer life spans are one reason for the increasing presence for men in assisted living communities, there are a few others that we have uncovered and outlined below.

More Severe Illnesses
Because men are living longer, they are also running into more severe health concerns that they may not have faced in the recent past. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are some of the most common illnesses for aging individuals. Renaissance of Richfield and Bath’s Memory Care facility provides a viable solution for children that are dealing with a parent that has this disease. Services like these are one of the reasons that we are seeing more men moving to Assisted Living communities.

Innovations in Senior Living Arrangements
The days of old, stuffy accommodations with underpaid and under appreciated and cranky staff members are slowly becoming a part of the past. Renaissance’s homey feel and many amenities make the transition to assisted living not only bearable but desirable. Your loved one can now look forward to healthy eating, scheduled activities, and around the clock health services from their community which makes the move much easier.

 There are many reasons why were are seeing more men moving to assisted living communities like Renaissance but these are some of the keys!