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Nutrition and Cognitive Impairment

By Sandra Sergeant on March 21, 2016

In our previous blog post, we discussed some age-related issues that often keep seniors from eating healthy, but what happens

when unhealthy eating leads to cognitive impairment? Malnutrition among seniors is more prevalent than many of us think. According to the National Resource on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Aging, between 35 and 50 percent of the older residents of long-term care facilities are malnourished, and as many as 65 percent of the elders in hospitals may be malnourished.

Malnourished elderly individuals are 2 times more likely to visit the doctor and 3 times more likely to be hospitalized. They also suffer diminished muscle strength and poor healing. And recent research is also pointing to nutrition’s role in cognitive decline as well. Healthy Aging and Longevity research has shown convincing evidence that dietary patterns practiced during adulthood are important contributors to age-related cognitive decline and dementia risk.

In order to reduce dementia risk, it is recommended that adults eat diets that are high in fruit, vegetables, cereals and fish, and low in saturated fats.

With respect to cognitive function, adults with diabetes are especially sensitive to the foods they eat. Specifically, an adult with diabetes will experience a decline in memory function after a meal, especially if the meal includes simple carbohydrate foods, such as sugar, soft drinks, candy, etc. While the precise physiological mechanisms underlying these dietary influences are not completely understood, the modulation of brain insulin levels likely contributes.

Making smart choices about your diet now can help reduce your risk for cognitive decline in later life. Take the following proactive steps to help improve your loved one’s nutrition now:

  •  Make healthy food choices at meals, such as replacing simple carbs with complex carbs (green vegetables, whole grains, beans, etc.)

  •  Maintain a healthy weight

  •  Keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control

  •  Exercise regularly

    For older adults, grabbing quick snacks is often easier than fixing a healthy meal. Caring Solutions’ Enfield home care team can help ensure that your loved one always has healthy food at home. Via our transportation services, we can help seniors shop for groceries, and plan and prepare delicious and nutritious meals at home. Contact us to learn more about our dedicated senior care services!

    Comments Off on Nutrition and Cognitive Impairment | Filed under: Senior Health | Tags: diet, nutrition

Common Hurdles to Senior Nutrition and How to Overcome Them

By Sandra Sergeant on March 7, 2016

Most of us relish sitting down to a hearty meal – the comforting smells, the tastes, the satisfying feeling of a full belly. For

many older adults, however, a number of health issues can prevent the enjoyment of food or even the ability to shop for healthy foods, and may lead to malnutrition. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers some solutions to several common senior nutrition problems, including:

Chewing problems: For seniors who cannot chew food well, meats and fresh fruits and vegetables can be a problem. The FDA suggests the following substitutions:

o Instead of fresh fruit, try fruit juice, apple sauce, or canned peaches and pears.

o Instead of raw vegetables, try vegetable juices or mashed and cooked vegetables.

o Instead of large pieces of meat, try ground meat, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products.

o Instead of sliced bread, try cooked cereals, rice, bread pudding and soft cookies.

Upset stomach: Too much gas, acid reflux, and other stomach issues may cause older adults to stay away from foods they think cause the problem. This means they could be missing out on important nutrients, such as vitamins, calcium, fiber and protein. The FDA recommends:

o Instead of drinking milk, try dairy foods that may not upset the stomach, like cream soups, pudding, yogurt, or cheese.

o Replace vegetables such as cabbage or broccoli with vegetable juices or carrots and potatoes that are easier to digest.

o Replace fresh fruit with fruit juice or soft canned fruits.
Unable to shop: Many seniors who have given up the car keys or have other mobility issues have problems shopping for themselves. When an inability to

shop for food becomes a nutrition obstacle, the FDA suggests:
o Requesting a local store deliver groceries to the home.
o Requesting volunteer shopping help from a local church, synagogue or

volunteer center.
o Asking a family member or neighbor to help with shopping.
o Enlisting the help of a local home care agency, such as Caring Solutions.

Cannot cook: Problems with cooking can include cognitive issues such as Alzheimer’s disease, difficulty holding cooking utensils or trouble standing for long periods of time. If an inability to cook is an issue:

o Use a microwave oven to cook TV dinners, other frozen foods and foods made ahead of time by the store.

o Hire a home care agency, like Connecticut home care company Caring Solutions, whose caregivers can plan and prepare nutritious meals in the comfort of the home.

Loss of appetite: Seniors who live alone sometimes feel lonely at mealtimes, which can lead to a loss of appetite. They may also not feel up to making a meal just for themselves, or the medication that they take might make food taste bad. For these issues, the FDA suggests:

o Eating with family and friends if possible.
o Joining group meal programs offered through local senior citizens

o Talking to a doctor about whether or not medication might be a problem. o Contacting a local home care agency, such as Caring Solutions, to have a

companion prepare meals and make meal time a social activity.

Proper nutrition is important no matter how old you are. If you have a loved one who is struggling to overcome age-related nutrition obstacles, contact the Enfield senior care experts at Caring Solutions! We can plan and prepare delicious, healthy meals and help improve your loved one’s nutrition in a number of ways!

How Home Care Services Are Helping Cancer Patients Thrive Through Improved Nutrition

By Sandra Sergeant on June 20, 2016

A healthy diet is important for everyone, but doubly so following a cancer diagnosis. Proper nutrition can help those with cancer gain the strength they need for chemotherapy treatments, protect against infections,

prevent body tissue from breaking down, and help rebuild tissue. Good nutrition also helps patients cope with any cancer treatment side effects and may even be able to help them handle higher doses of certain drugs.

Nutrition recommendations for those with cancer may emphasize eating more higher calorie, higher protein foods. To achieve this, the doctor may recommend increasing intake of foods like milk, cheese, and eggs. Other suggestions might include increasing the use of sauces and gravies, or changing cooking methods to include more butter, margarine, or oil. Sometimes, nutrition recommendations for cancer

patients suggest eating less of certain high-fiber foods which can aggravate problems such as diarrhea or a sore mouth.

During treatment, cancer patients may suffer from lack of appetite. If that is the case, the recommendation is to try to eat any easily-digested foods to try to meet nutritional needs.

On treatment days, patients should:

  •  Talk with the nurse to learn about ways to relax if feeling sick before treatment.

  •  Learn when it’s most comfortable to eat and drink. Some people feel better

    when they eat a little just before treatment. Others feel better when they have

    nothing to eat or drink before treatment.

  •  After treatment, it’s best to wait at least one hour before eating or drinking.

    Some foods and drinks that may be easier on the stomach during cancer treatments include:

  •  Clear broth

  •  Grape juice

  •  Baked chicken without skin

  •  Crackers

  •  Pasta

  •  White rice

  •  Baked potatoes

  •  Bananas

  •  Gelatin

  •  Yogurt

  •  Popsicles

    A healthy diet is vital for a person’s body to work its best. Caring Solutions’ home care services help cancer patients plan, shop for, and prepare delicious meals that meet their nutritional needs, and monitor food intake to ensure patients are as healthy as possible. Call us at 877-369-5602 to learn more about how our in-home care services can help provide comfort and relief as you go through your treatments.

    Comments Off on How Home Care Services Are Helping Cancer Patients Thrive Through Improved Nutrition | Filed under: Cancer Care, Home Care Services Avon CT | Tags: Cancer, diet, nutrition

Learn Ways You Can Encourage the Elderly Patient to Exercise

By Sandra Sergeant on December 11, 2014

Get Fit with Home Care near Farmington, CT, and Keep the Mind Sharp

In modern society, there has been a great push to encourage people around the country to get exercising, get in shape, and stay healthy. Despite the numerous diet fads that all promise results to help people lose weight, get healthy, and feel better about themselves, the really is no substitute for physical conditioning.

For an elderly individual who relies on some type of home care, getting in shape, getting exercise, and doing some type of routine on a daily basis is important for their overall health and well-being.

Comments Off on Learn Ways You Can Encourage the Elderly Patient to Exercise | Filed under: Home Care Services Farmington CT | Tags: Home Care Services Farmington CT

Are You Tired of Traditional Egg Nog? Consider Trying this Yummy Chocolate Egg Nog Recipe this Holiday Season with your Family.

By Sandra Sergeant on December 5, 2014

Elder Care in Suffield, CT – December is National Egg Nog Month

For those who enjoy the taste of egg nog around the holidays, this news will come as a welcome surprise – December is the month to celebrate drinking eggnog! For something really special and different, treat yourself and your family to chocolate eggnog. For a family recipe suitable for all ages, you can skip adding the Bourbon. Homemade tastes amazing, so try it today.

Chocolate Egg Nog Recipe

  •  6 eggs

  •  1⁄4 cup sugar

    Comments Off on Are You Tired of Traditional Egg Nog? Consider Trying this Yummy Chocolate Egg Nog Recipe this Holiday Season with your Family. | Filed under: Elderly Care Suffield CT | Tags: Elderly Care Suffield CT

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