Alzheimer’s is a very complex condition and its treatment might be challenging. However, a lot can be done at home when the right support is provided specifically in four basic areas. Healthy Nutrition, proper exercise, (not only for the body and muscles, but for the brain and mind), relaxation routines and support for proper sleep hygiene. These are some interesting challenges that a well-trained caregiver can address to help a patient who is receiving treatment and needs help with the basic tasks at home.
Meal Preparation and Cooking for Alzheimer’s patient.
The benefits of good nutrition are unquestionable and even more, in chronic conditions and when cognitive decline is part of the equation. Proven results such as those provided by Ketogenic diets* have outstanding stories, but to make them a reality, it is necessary to have support. This type of diets normally requires the avoidance of processed, package and more convenient foods and focus on home cooked meals using high quality ingredients that might be challenging to an Alzheimer’s person. At Assisting Hands, we are adopting some of the guidelines and recommendations (including recipes) of one of the most proven nutritional approaches, the Ketoflex 12/3, part of the ReCODE PROTOCOL**, developed by the prestigious Dale Bredesen. M.D. who has been consolidating remarkable successes in patients diagnosed with AD.
If you want to know about Ketoflex 12/3, ReCODE or Bredesen Protocol by Dr Dale Bredesen, please go to www.drbredesen.com
Grocery Shopping; how to find the best ingredients for healthy cooking for a patient with Alzheimer’s.
Following healthy recipes always starts with the right ingredients. We put a lot of effort on what we call “smart grocery shopping”, that addresses label understanding to eliminate harmful ingredients like hidden sugars, GMOS, non-healthy fats, MSGs, preservatives, colorants and some other that may assault the brain or the gut. Smart Grocery Shopping increases awareness of substitutes like healthy sweeteners, healthy fats, low glycemic index foods and others. (This low Glycemic Index will assure minimum insulin spikes that has been documented as one of the variables that a patient with Alzheimer should avoid). Detox support can also be addressed with some herbs like cilantro and vegetables like cruciferous that can be part of tasty salads. For more complex support, we can explore a higher level of preparation that will include fermenting and sprouting that will be in alignment with all the recent research with regards to the relationship between good gut health and brain health.
Exercise for the brain and the body needs to be fun. The ultimate objective is to do the correct safe routines that boost (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor) BDNF, the miracle protein manufactured by the body that supports a healthy brain. Challenging the body and mind with physical and mental activities assisted by a caregiver who also enjoys what he does, have incredible benefits.
Relaxation and sleep hygiene might go together.
Improving stress will improve sleep. Basic deep breathing routines several times during the day will oxygenate the brain and will reduce stress. Circadian Rhythm Synchronization routines, time reminders on when to eat, when to use electronic devices and support for applying blue light filters at the right time will promote the natural production of melatonin and calmness exactly at the right time for bed.
Finally, is extremely important to have the right health care practitioner that supports the science behind the care plans and execution. At Assisting Hands Boca & Delray we partnership with Georgette Schwartz, board certified holistic nutritionist in protocols like the RECODE / Bredesen Protocol **. She will assist and verify some of the recipes that might be suggested by a patient who wants to be involved his or her care.