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Healthy Living with Alzheimer’s Disease

By Melissa Hill, 10:23 pm on

With positive and proactive attitudes, it is possible for Alzheimer’s patients to maintain healthy and enjoyable lifestyles for many years after their diagnoses. There are four main areas that seniors living with Alzheimer’s and their family caregivers should focus on: mental stimulation, physical activity and nutrition.

While these three categories are all part of Home Care Assistance’s Balanced Care Method™, incorporating each into an Alzheimer’s plan of care can have significant positive impacts on the health and quality of life of the care recipient.

Keeping the Mind Active to Preserve Cognitive Function

Engaging in mentally stimulating activities has been shown to assist in the preservation of cognitive function. This can include reading or being read to, playing an instrument, learning new languages, completing puzzles or playing challenging games such as chess. Maintaining a lifestyle that is rich with these activities and other hobbies will preserve important neural connections and can help to stave off memory loss and other Alzheimer’s-related issues.

For this reason, the scientific division of Home Care Assistance has developed the Cognitive Therapeutics Method™, a cognitive stimulation program to keep our clients mind mentally sharp. Utilizing more than 200 cognitively stimulating activities that are catered to each senior’s individual needs, we are able to promote mental vitality for the clients we serve.

Physical Activity

Regular exercise is also good for keeping the brain fit. Sufficient physical activity can raise dopamine and seratonin levels, promote mood balance and stave off depression. It also limits the likelihood of developing additional forms of illness including diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise can improve heart health and mental functioning. Strength training will improve and protect bone density which is vital for aging women who are at risk of developing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

Nutrition

Many adults who suffer from Alzheimer’s and other age-related diseases often experience a decline in good nutrition. These individuals should be eating fresh, home-cooked meals rather than convenience foods and options that have been highly processed and refined. The diet should be rich with fatty fish, fresh, leafy green vegetables and a colorful assortment of produce. Whole grains and modest servings of low-fat dairy products will round the diet out. Eating nutritious foods will promote higher levels of energy and can keep progressive illnesses such as Alzheimer’s in check. Conversely, diets that are high in refined grains, white sugar, trans fats and other unhealthy ingredients will often exacerbate the symptoms of these illnesses.

For more information about Alzheimer’s home care in Oklahoma, contact Home Care Assistance, a leading home care agency serving families in Edmond and Oklahoma City. Our Care Managers are available 24/7 to answer your questions and concerns. Call us at 405-285-4191 – we look forward to hearing from you!