A dementia diagnosis doesn’t mean your family must stand by and watch helplessly as your senior loved one’s cognitive abilities deteriorate. Much more is known today about how lifestyle choices can impact the progression of dementia. Now that you have a diagnosis for your loved one’s symptoms, you can be proactive and help him or her learn how to manage the condition and stop it from progressing.
Feed the Brain with Healthy Fats
While seniors with dementia should try to stick to a low-fat diet to boost blood flow to the brain, certain types of fats are helpful. Healthy fats contain omega-3 fatty acids the brain needs to function properly. Encourage your loved one to eat superfoods such as avocados, walnuts, eggs, and fish such as salmon, which are all great sources of these essential fatty acids.
If your loved one has difficulty maintaining a healthy diet, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful resource. Des Moines at-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Reduce Inflammation in the Body
Your loved one’s immune system can launch an inflammatory response that affects the whole body, including the brain. Take steps to help your loved one reduce system-wide inflammation, control blood sugar, and prevent common illnesses such as the flu. Your loved one should also make an effort to reduce stress in life, since the release of cortisol (a stress hormone) also increases inflammation within the body.
Promote Better Sleep
The brain performs vital functions while your loved one sleeps. During the night, neural connections are repaired and built. Your loved one’s brain also processes information and makes memories from the day’s events as he or she sleeps. Set up a daily routine that includes an appropriate time for waking up and going to sleep. You can also enhance your loved one’s sleep by setting up a relaxing sleep environment. If he or she faces sleep difficulties, talk to the doctor to find solutions that address the underlying causes.
Protect the Head
Traumatic brain injuries worsen dementia, and most head injuries that happen to older adults are preventable. Practice basic fall prevention by making sure your loved one wears sturdy nonskid shoes whenever he or she is up and walking around. Modifications may also need to be made to the home, such as adding a ramp over the stairs to reduce the risk of falls.
If your loved one has mobility issues that increase the risk of falling, you may want to consider having a caregiver in the home at all times. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Des Moines live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.
Keep the Mind Active
Your loved one’s day should be filled with an array of activities that challenge him or her to think in a variety of different ways. For instance, doing a puzzle together can strengthen problem-solving abilities and spatial recognition, talking to a caregiver encourages retention of oral language skills, and reading together promotes better comprehension. Plan your loved one’s activities strategically so he or she gets the most brain-boosting benefits out of every moment.
Aging in place can be challenging for seniors with dementia, and slowing its progression can increase quality of life tremendously. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of in-home care. Des Moines Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. Call Home Care Assistance at (515) 264-2438 to learn more about our flexible and customizable dementia care plans.