Understanding Senior Diet and Cognitive Decline

An outline of a head with healthy food in place of a brain highlights the connection between senior diet and cognitive decline.
Our caregivers explore the link between senior diet and cognitive decline.

In our last article, we highlighted some age-related challenges that prevent older adults from eating a healthy diet, but is there a link between senior diet and cognitive decline? Malnutrition in older individuals is a lot more common than you might believe. The National Resource on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Aging notes that 35% – 50% of the elderly people living in long-term care facilities are experiencing lack of nutrition, and as many as 65% of older adults in hospitals may be malnourished as well.

Malnourished seniors are twice as likely to need to see their medical professionals as well as three times as likely to be hospitalized. They may also experience reduced muscular mass and have a more challenging time in recovery than those with better eating habits. Not only that, but a new study highlights the role that healthy eating plays in protecting against cognitive decline, too. Healthy Aging and Longevity research reveals an unforeseen connection between eating habits practiced during adult years and age-related cognitive decline.

To minimize the risk of poor senior diet and cognitive decline, it is suggested that older adults follow a diet abundant in fish, grains, veggies, and fruits, along with reduced hydrogenated fats.

Special Note for Diabetics

It is critical to understand that people with diabetes pay close attention to the foods they eat. Of particular note, an older person with diabetes may be affected by a decline in memory after a meal, especially if it includes carbohydrate-rich foods, soft drinks, sugar, etc. Although the exact cause behind these concerns is not entirely clear, the spike of insulin in the brain is a most likely factor.

Making thoughtful meal choices for older adults today can help them minimize the danger of cognitive decline later. Take these steps to help enhance the nourishment of a senior loved one:

  • Implement a workout routine.
  • Keep blood pressure as well as cholesterol levels under control.
  • Supply healthy food choices for each meal. For instance, replace simple carbs with complex ones like beans, whole grains, green veggies, etc.
  • Maintain a healthy and balanced weight and BMI.
  • Request assistance from a dietitian or a professional home care provider like Heaven at Home Senior Care.

For older adults, a quick snack is often a lot simpler than preparing a full meal. The home care experts at Heaven at Home Senior Care can ensure that older adults always have healthy food choices in the residence. We can supply transportation for a senior to go grocery shopping, or we can take care of the shopping for them.

Reach out to us at 940-380-0500 in Denton or 972-245-1515 in Dallas or contact us online to find out more about how we can help a person you love with customized in-home care services in University Park, Denton, Argyle, and also the surrounding locations.