Regularly making nutritious food choices isn’t going to cure Parkinson’s disease. However, it can provide an overall boost to health and wellbeing in a way that could make it easier to handle symptoms or fully benefit from medications being taken for this purpose. Just make sure to discuss dietary adjustments with your senior loved one’s doctor first to avoid drug interactions and other possible issues. With this in mind, here are six diet suggestions that tend to be good for seniors living with Parkinson’s.
The stress and damage that can be done to cells because of Parkinson’s may worsen symptoms and affect the progression of the condition. Whether eaten as a snack or included in smoothies, berries are a diet addition that can provide added protection for cells. They’re beneficial because they have an abundance of antioxidants that target cell-damaging abnormal molecules called free radicals.
Constipation is a common complaint of seniors with Parkinson’s because of problems with bowel muscles involved with digestion. Oatmeal is just one of several high-fiber foods that can naturally manage constipation and enhance digestive functions. Oats are also rich in protein, which could keep muscle tissues strong enough to offset Parkinson’s-related issues with mobility. Lentils, bananas, split peas, chickpeas, and sweet potatoes also have high amounts of dietary fiber.
Some seniors with Parkinson’s find it challenging to prepare healthy meals on their own. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of in-home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
Reader’s Digest Canada references a study showing walnuts may boost memory and other brain-related functions that can be affected by advancing Parkinson’s disease. Additional studies suggest walnuts may provide an added cognitive boost for an aging brain, which may further minimize issues due to Parkinson’s for seniors with this condition. Almonds, cashews, and pistachios can offer similar benefits.
4. Eggs & Other Vitamin D–Rich Foods
It’s common for older adults with Parkinson’s to have lower than normal levels of vitamin D, which keeps bones and joints healthy by aiding in the absorption of calcium. Whether scrambled or included in an omelet with cheese, diced veggies, and other nutritious extras, eggs are an excellent natural source of vitamin D. Other natural sources of this beneficial nutrient include:
• Cheese and certain other dairy products
• Foods fortified with vitamin D
• Beef liver
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Vancouver families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
5. Fatty Fish
In addition to also having a high vitamin D content, fish with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids offer an assortment of brain-related nutrients that can be good for seniors with Parkinson’s. Fatty fish like tuna, herring, sardines, salmon, and mackerel also provide added protection against heart disease, which is important for seniors with Parkinson’s because they’re roughly twice as likely to develop heart-related issues.
A regular intake of water is beneficial for seniors living with Parkinson’s disease because it increases circulation. This is important because a circulation boost sends more nutrients to the brain and the various joints and soft tissues that play a role in movement. A good way for seniors with Parkinson’s to remain sufficiently hydrated is to keep a portable source of water nearby.
Though seniors with Parkinson’s need to eat healthy, they may not be able to make nutritious meals without the help of family members and other caregivers. Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Vancouver live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (778) 279-3634 to schedule a free in-home consultation.