In our last blog post, we featured some age-related problems that prevent seniors from following a healthy diet, yet could there also be a link between poor nutrition and dementia? Malnutrition in older individuals is far more common than you may think. The National Resource on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Aging notes that 35% – 50% of the seniors living in long-term care centers are experiencing nutritional deficiencies, and as many as 65% of older adults in the hospital may be malnourished as well.
Malnourished seniors are two times as likely to need to see their doctors and three times as likely to be hospitalized. They also experience reduced muscle mass and have a harder time healing than those who adhere to a better diet. In addition to that, new research highlights the role that healthy and balanced eating plays in protecting against cognitive problems too. Healthy Aging and Longevity data shows a surprising link between eating behaviors practiced throughout the adult years and age-related cognitive decline as well as psychological degeneration risk.
To decrease this risk, it is recommended that older adults follow a diet that is plentiful in fish, grains, veggies, and fruits, and low in hydrogenated fats.
The Additional Concern for Those With Diabetes
It is crucial to comprehend that people with diabetes are specifically impacted by the foods they consume. Particularly, an older individual with diabetes may experience a decline in memory after a meal, specifically if that dish includes carbohydrate-rich foods like candy, soft drinks, sugar, etc. Although the specific reasons behind these concerns are not completely clear, insulin in the brain is a most likely factor.
Making thoughtful food choices for older adults today can help them lessen the danger of cognitive decline later on. Take these proactive steps to help improve the nutrition of a senior loved one:
- Maintain a healthy weight and BMI.
- Implement a workout routine.
- Supply healthy and balanced food choices for each meal. For instance, replace simple carbs with complex ones like beans, whole grains, green veggies, etc.
- Keep blood pressure along with cholesterol levels controlled.
- Request help from a dietitian or an expert home care provider like CareFor.
For older adults, a quick snack is often a great deal easier than preparing a healthy meal. The home care experts at CareFor can make sure that older adults have healthy and balanced food choices in the home, by grocery shopping or providing transportation for seniors to shop, as well as preparing nutritious meals.
Contact us at (512) 338-4533 to learn more about the link between nutrition and dementia and how we can help the older adults you love live healthier lives. Our in-home care solutions are available throughout Austin, Lakeway, San Antonio, and the neighboring areas.