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Helping Loved Ones With Alzheimer's Disease Keep Their Brains Healthy

If one of your parents has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, then you may need to look into an assisted living facility like Grace Assisted Living. This is a wise choice once the disease progresses to the middle or moderate stage. Your loved one is likely to forget their address, phone number, and important life events during this stage of the disease. Moodiness, restlessness, personality changes, and wandering behaviors are also common, and these things can make care at home difficult. Thankfully, the middle stage of Alzheimer's can last a long time before the disease progresses any further. Keeping the mind strong can help to prolong progression. Keep reading to learn about a few things you can ask the assisted living facility to do with your parent to help with brain health.

Arrange A Diet With The Dietician

Most assisted living facilities will have a clinical, medical, or registered dietician on staff. This dietician will oversee the nutrition of all residents in the facility, and they will also set diet limitations and requirements based on illnesses and general needs. While diet restrictions are typically required due to medical urgency, you can arrange a diet plan with the dietician that helps to keep your loved one's brain strong and healthy.

Speak with the dietician about implementing the MIND diet. This diet has been shown to reduce cognitive decline through the consumption of foods that support brain and neurological health. Specifically, the diet is rich in vitamin E, folate, vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D. The MIND diet includes foods like fish, berries, nuts, leafy greens, whole grains, beans, and healthy oils. The eating plan also excludes food like red meat, cheese, butter, sweets, and fast foods. 

Not only can the MIND diet help to maintain brain health, but it can reduce overall inflammation. Inflammation can lead to brain health issues and the degradation of the myelin that surrounds the neurons in your body. Swelling can also cause distress for elderly individuals who are susceptible to arthritis and back conditions. 

Set Up Brain Health Games

Physical Games

You also should speak to the activities or social coordinator about games that can be offered to your loved one on a daily basis to help strengthen the mind. Certain types of games and activities can keep the neural connections in your loved one's brain strong. Studies suggest that bingo is actually very beneficial to individuals who have cognitive disorders, so make sure to ask if a weekly bingo game is available in the facility. If so, make sure your parent is signed up for the game. Not only will the game itself assist with brain function, but it will encourage your loved one to be social. Individuals with Alzheimer's disease who remain socially active will retain cognitive brain function for longer. Also, social activities can reduce the emotional issues that are often associated with the disease. 

Card games, puzzles, word searches, crossword puzzles, checkers, and other games are all good for the brain as well, so make sure to check out recreation areas to see if there is a community space where these types of things are offered.

Digital Games

You also should think about supplying your loved one with a tablet that has brain and puzzle games installed. There are a wide variety of cognitive and brain games like Lumosity, Dakim, Brain Trainer, and Clevermind that may be appropriate for your parent. Download the games for your loved one on the tablet. If possible, work with an aide in the facility who will oversee the care of your loved one. Show the individual how to use the games so he or she can help your parent if they become frustrated. Make sure to also include a power cord and charger for the tablet. A heavy duty case to reduce damage will be helpful as well.