Caring for a Loved One with Dementia
Casa Sandoval acknowledges that dementia can change many facets of a loved one’s personality. While he or she may once have been calm and easygoing, he or she now may be combative, aggressive, and prone to outbursts. Casa Sandoval says it’s important to remember to be patient, as it’s often the disease’s effects on the brain causing these changes in behavior.
Casa Sandoval states that the best way to care for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s or dementia is to make a plan and stick to it. This includes things like establishing a strict daily schedule to follow and limiting choices. People with dementia are often fearful of new things and following a familiar routine day in and day out is often comforting. It’s also important to reduce the loved one’s daily decisions. Choosing between two food options or two outfits is far less distressing than ordering from a menu or picking an outfit from a closet full of clothing, explains Casa Sandoval.
It’s also important to take it one step at a time and to give simple instructions when asking the loved one to do something. Asking too much at once or giving complex directions that require a great attention to detail may backfire and cause frustration. Casa Sandoval also recommends limiting distractions when speaking with the loved one, as dementia can affect a patient’s attention span and ability to concentrate and focus.
Finally, Casa Sandoval notes that it pays to simply be flexible and learn to adapt with the challenges of the disease — and to always be there for the loved one with support and love. As Casa Sandoval advises, preventing and slowing the onset of cognitive impairment is a major concern of the aging population. One of the many ways researchers have identified for slowing or preventing conditions such as Alzheimer’s is eating foods with high-impact on brain health and avoiding foods high in “bad”, or saturated, fats. Casa Sandoval affirms that eating right is not the only way to reduce the risk of these conditions, but is an easy place to start.
Eating Right to Reduce Risk of Dementia
Just as mother always said, eating fruits and vegetables is good for you and great for your brain, confirms Casa Sandoval. For vegetables, think green and eat a lot of spinach, kale, and other leafy greens. When picking the right fruit, start with any kind of berry, then throw in some apples and a grapefruit here and there. According to Casa Sandoval, the idea is to take in antioxidants that will clean out free radicals that destroy cells, reduce inflammation, and allow the brain to operate better.
Similarly, researchers advise eating nuts high in Omega-3 fat, like walnuts, which also contain flavonoids that help protect the brain. Eating fatty fish, like salmon, can lower the blood levels of a protein named beta-amyloid that is thought to play a role in causing Alzheimer’s.
While the list of brain-healthy foods includes a lot of fruits and vegetables, have a glass of red wine, a square of dark chocolate, and a few cups of coffee—all of which have been found to boost memory and support brain health, recommends Casa Sandoval.
For more information about Casa Sandoval, or to contact the staff at Casa Sandoval, go online to casasandoval.com