Among the many challenges that accompany living with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, food is at the top of the list. Motor skill decline can impact the ability to hold silverware, chewing and swallowing become more difficult, and forgetting to eat can cause nutritional deficiency. At Providence Living at Maitland, we understand the challenges that mealtime and eating can present to those with memory impairment. Because of this, we offer an exceptional dining program catered to the needs of men and women with memory impairment.
In addition to preparing meals that taste good and satisfy dietary requirements, we pay special attention to our ingredients to ensure they promote brain health. Not all food is created equal, and what our residents ingest can impede or promote their physical and emotional wellbeing, and affect disease progression. We focus on foods that enhance cognitive function, like those found on the MIND diet.
The MIND diet stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurogenerative Delay. It is designed to prevent dementia and loss of brain function as we age. This is a combination of the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Generally, the guidelines of this diet encourage the consumption of specific foods: vegetables, berries, nuts, olive oil, whole grains, fish, beans, poultry, and a moderate amount of wine. Additionally, it recommends limiting or avoiding butter, cheese, red meat, fried foods, and sweets due to the amount of unhealthy fat they contain.
Scientists believe this diet reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, two components found to be a threat to brain function and health. By reducing both with a diet like MIND, symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia may be reduced or slowed and improved quality of life.
At Providence Living at Maitland, we are respectful of our residents’ dietary wants and needs. While we encourage foods and recipes that promote cognitive function, we ultimately will provide the foods ideal for each individual. We want our residents to be satiated, nourished, and happy!
To learn more about the culinary program at Providence Living at Maitland, or schedule an in-person tour of our community and kitchens, contact our community at 407.863.4020. To learn more about the MIND diet and begin making recipes today, we suggest The Brain Health Cookbook by Julie Andrews.
Providence Living at Maitland is an assisted living memory support community located in Central Florida, just minutes from downtown Orlando and Winter Park.