Discovering your loved one has Alzheimer’s or signs of age-related dementia can spark a number of questions. Suddenly, you’re asking yourself… [Link to https://www.thegroveatoakleafvillage.com/4-key-dementia-symptoms-every-adult-child-should-watch-for-in-a-parent]
What causes dementia?
What are the risk factors?
What prevents memory loss?
As you search for answers, perhaps you’ve stumbled across research on vitamin D and dementia that raises a very important question…
Is there a link between deficiency in vitamin D and dementia?
After all, if there’s a nutritional deficiency that’s impacted Mom or Dad’s life, you want to know about it—and take action.
In this article, we’ll look at vitamin D deficiency, dementia, and the importance of nutrition for your loved one’s health.
Let’s dive in…
A Recent Study on Vitamin D and Dementia
In October 2017, BMC Geriatrics released the results of some important research. [Link to https://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12877-017-0622-1]
Involving a large number of research participants, this study collected the blood samples of over 500 Swedish nursing home residents.
Of the 545 participants, 55% of the residents had dementia.
After collecting the blood samples, the study analyzed the vitamin D concentrations in the residents’ serums.
When discussing their findings, the scholars noted…
“Vitamin D deficiency was common among nursing home residents and strongly associated with dementia.”
In other words, dementia residents had a statistically higher incidence of vitamin D deficiency than those who didn’t have dementia.
What This Study Means for Your Loved One
It’s important to understand the implications of this research for your loved one.
First things first, this research didn’t prove that having vitamin D deficiency causes dementia. Instead, it demonstrated an association—a link between the two.
However, just because there’s only a link doesn’t mean there isn’t a cause for concern. In fact, there is a possibility that vitamin D deficiency does cause dementia—as identifying a link is the first step to pinpointing a cause-effect relationship.
As the authors of the study pointed out…
“Vitamin D deficiency was strongly associated with dementia, therefore there is need for future studies to clarify if there is a causal relationship between vitamin D deficiency and dementia.”
While we wait for further research to find a stronger tie between deficiency in vitamin D and dementia, here’s the bottom line for your loved one…
Supporting your loved one’s nutrition is essential.
But that’s especially hard when Mom or Dad has memory loss—as you’ll soon see.
Poor Nutrition—A Danger for Dementia Patients
If your loved one has dementia, vitamin D deficiency isn’t the only danger to avoid.
The reality is, he or she experiences a real risk for poor nutrition. According to the National Council on Aging, a number of factors can cause malnutrition, including… [Link to https://www.ncoa.org/wp-content/uploads/NCOA-Malnutrition-Infographic-0816_web.pdf]
- Living alone.
- A lack of mobility.
As the Alzheimer’s Association explains, those with dementia can “become overwhelmed with too many food choices, forget to eat or have difficulty with eating utensils.” [Link to https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/daily-care/food-eating]
In other words, dementia can place Mom or Dad’s well-being on the line.
If your loved one has dementia, be on the lookout for signs such as…
- Weight loss.
- An empty refrigerator.
- Food that seems untouched.
- Kitchen appliances that never seem used.
They could indicate that your parent isn’t getting the mealtime support he or she needs.
Supporting Your Loved One’s Nutrition
Alzheimer’s and age-related dementias create unique nutritional challenges.
But, at The Grove, we’re doing something about it.
To begin with, our communities strive to offer one brain-healthy dish for each meal we serve—whether that’s DHA-boosting salmon, vitamin B-filled lentil soup, or another option. [Link to https://www.thegroveatoakleafvillage.com/why-the-grove/brain-healthy-menu]
What’s more, each ability-based neighborhood has an open kitchen.
These kitchens allow the aroma of foods to float through the air…triggering your loved one’s senses and supporting Mom or Dad’s desire to eat.
In our addition to our family-style meals, our community offers additional support such as a thoughtfully designed layout, engaging activities, and team members who’ve received dementia training.
You can see the difference we’ll make for Mom or Dad when you explore our community and join us for a complimentary meal.
If you or your loved one is near Toledo, Ohio, plan a time to visit us here. [Link to https://www.thegroveatoakleafvillage.com/toledo/schedule-a-visit]
For those of you in Columbus, Ohio, we’ll soon be opening The Grove Columbus. Plan your visit in advance when you go here. [Link to https://www.thegroveatoakleafvillage.com/columbus/schedule-a-visit]