My father just passed in December at 86. He had Vascular Dementia. My Mom is 76, and is happy as a child, with mid-stage Alzheimers. Our unresolved issues just had to be shelved. End of story.
I have several good articles about
certain nutrients and blood levels that pertain to optimal health for the elderly with dementias.
I'll paste part of one below.
I'm blogging now. I'll share the sites. I have info on there also, and will continue to post.
Enjoy and feel free to comment.
I like certain multivitamins and natural supplements because they are proven to get into the bloodstream quickly. (Bioavailable.) I like a tiny probiotic that really helps with indigestion and the immune system. Makes life easier.
What is important to us, as we strive to keep our parents alive, may no longer be important to them. It takes some juggling to interest someone in food with cachexia, for instance, as we never know what types of diseases they really have sometimes, and dementias. My father would wait till I left the room and pour his water into my plants. I would have to sit there to make sure he was 'hydrated'. (There is a great drink that hydrates people, with electrolytes and potassium-rich with juice. )If I was to go downstairs, his footsteps would quickly head for the ice cream in the fridge, or the graham crackers, or the strawberry freezer jam (1/2 a pint by spoon) with dollops of powdered sugar set out for waffles.
I made two video tapes of him to share with my siblings when he was gone, to answer some of the questions they could have about
his history, and thus, theirs. We briefly laughed about
the ice cream in one of the videos. If I left bananas out, he would forget he had one, and sometimes could scarf 3 down. I worried about
the opposite sometimes-him gaining such a paunch that I would have a harder time showering him, etc. He loved my cooking. The smells helped his appetite.
I like certain meal shakes, without any artificial sweeteners, colors or flavorings. There are cocoa and vanilla ones that even my grandkids liked. You can add strawberries to the vanilla, especially frozen ones, and peanut or almond or cashew butter to the cocoa ones. I like certain soy protein drinks, non-GMO, lightly cooked to take out the thyroid harming part, 50% calcium added for bone density and to neutralize the acidity of soy. I have some great smoothie recipes.
Snack plates of fruit, cheeses, cream cheese on soft bagels, graham crackers w/ nut butter, cream cheese, or a treat w/ frosting. Snack or protein bars cut up in cubes for tooth-challenged folks. Hummus w/ crackers, cucumbers and soft pita bread. There are some great recipes for hummus, that use varied foods and spices, etc.
Well, I'm writing another book. I tend to do that. Enjoy this blurb from an article.
Elevated levels of homocysteine is an indication of inadequate folate and
vitamin B-12 in the diet, writes lead author Giovanni Ravaglia, a researcher
with University Hospital S. Orsola-Malpighi in <st1:place><st1:City>Bologna</st1:City>,
<st1:country-region>Italy</st1:country-region></st1:place>. His paper appears
in the March American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In their study, researchers tested the blood of 650 elderly Italians -- with no
signs of dementia or Alzheimer's disease -- looking at levels of folate and
vitamin B-12. They also asked about
other dietary factors such as coffee, wine,
and liquor consumption and about
Researchers found that those with lower scores on tests of thinking ability had
high levels of homocysteine. They found the same association even after taking
into account other risk factors for dementia, including age, socioeconomic
status, and risk factors for heart disease.
Some study participants may have early or very mild cognitive impairment,
especially those whose scores on the tests were low. People with early dementia
often perform within normal limits on cognitive tests, Ravaglia writes.
Though nutritional deficiencies can be the cause, some medications like the
seizure drug Dilantin can elevate homocysteine levels in the blood. Kidney
disease, alcohol use, and too little physical activity can also elevate
High homocysteine levels can be treated very easily with vitamins, including
folate, niacin, and B-12. Cereals are now fortified with folate, niacin is
found in fresh fruits, and B-12 is in red meat. <o:p></o:p></p>
Personally, I'm a bit picky when it comes to my parents, or family and vitamins. A good BComplex can do wonders. I would never recommend taking a B vitamin in a high dose, by itself, for instance. You can deplete the others. Alfalfa leafies in a tablet or tea can aid arthritis pain for them. Hope this helps.
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Post Edited By Moderator (Howlyncat) : 1/24/2009 4:20:34 PM (GMT-7)