Features

Dementia And Diet

 REGINA D. Posvar LPN,RNA
REGINA D. Posvar LPN,RNA

Q: DEAR MA’AM, What diet can I have to prevent dementia? Is there a diet that can help?

A: According to the Alzheimer’s Society they report that a Mediterranean diet is best to reduce the risk of developing dementia. This diet includes “high intake of fruit, vegetables, legumes and cereals, with moderate intake of oily fish and dairy; low in meats; sugar and saturated fat. Other investigations of this diet are associated with lower levels of heart attacks; stroke; type 2 diabetes; cardiovascular diseases and death from any cause. Other reports show lower levels of memory and thinking problems.”

I also recommend staying away from processed foods and ingredients such as MSG, GMO, added sugars and many other chemicals that are difficult to pronounce. All these increase your risk of developing dementia.

There are other diets that may help such as live raw vegan diets. They have some studies that claim to reduce dementia and other illnesses.

The best diet is to know what your general health is, what kind of foods your body can tolerate and make your choice based on what will help heal your individual body and maintain great health. Diets are not a one for all. We are all different in our make-up and if you notice there is not one diet on the market that works for every single person. Why? Because we are all unique, we respond differently to food. There are many elements of food that can help us reduce our risk for developing dementia but our diet is not the only factor that can help. Our life style and environment is also to be considered.

Q: Hello Ms. Regina, my mum has Alzheimer’s and she can still dress herself but doesn’t always do it right. She doesn’t like me to help her. She gets really mad when I try. Sometimes I just can’t let her wear the clothes she puts on when my brother comes to visit. He doesn’t like to see her that way. How can I get her to change her clothes? Or help her put on the ones that match?

A: I am sure you have tried many ways to help. Your mum wants to make choices and be in control and feel important I am sure. You may try picking two sets of outfits and say to her: “Hey, Mum, you have not worn these in a while. Which one do you want to wear today?” Don’t take away her ability to choose her clothes. Give her a choice with two items. This will simplify and still allow her to make her own choice. Too many choices can make it hard for her so just simplify it. If she dressed herself before you were able to help, you can try asking her if she would help you find your favourite top or bottom (the clothes you want to match up) while expressing a lot how wonderful she looks in it or relating it to your brother with a good feeling. Make sure the tone of your voice is friendly and not bossy.

Q: Dear Regina, I am caring for an elderly lady with some kind of dementia, I am not sure what kind dementia. The lady sometimes seems so upset. Most times we don’t bother her and just let her go. But my heart feels bad that no one approaches her. How can I approaches her to let her know we are here to help?

A: Great question! If she is in her room, knock on the door or on a table to get her attention. If you know that she is distressed look concerned, don’t look happy. Let her move towards you, keeping your body turned to the side. (This will be a supportive position and not confrontational). If the person is seated and has not given you permission to enter her personal space – turn sideways and kneel at six feel out – offer a greeting and a hand shake – look for an OK to come into her space (it is a submissive posture). After greeting you can try one of two options… “sounds like you are (give an emotion or feeling that seems to be true)” or repeat the words she says to you… If she said, “Where is my Mom?” you would say “you are looking for your mom? (pause)… Tell me about your mom… If the person said I want to go home” You would say, “You want to go home (pause)… Tell me about your home…”

A: Silly~ A gentleman told the nurse during the day that the nurse at night was making beer at the foot of his bed… The night nurse was emptying the Foley catheter.
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