March 1, 2017
You have a mom in an assisted living or memory care community. She has arthritis with chronically aching joints. She has good days and bad days. You read an article or two about nutrition and foods that help reduce inflammation and foods that aggravate inflammation. You assume that the community your mom lives in: a) has all that information and b) is consistently infusing your mom’s healthy diet with the right foods.
Now, flip over to the community side. How would you respond to a family member who read such an article? Do you have your own lists readily on hand to assure the family that you are doing everything possible to keep mom moving and on her feet for as long as possible?
Foods can help and foods can hurt. Do your caregivers know the difference?
The truth, according to Shane Malecha, Clinical Specialist with Aegis Therapies, a Senior Housing Forum partner, is that, while everyone wants to do the right thing, there are still plenty of sedentary seniors who won’t stand for fear of falling and won’t move for fear of disturbing their aching, inflamed joints. That lack of activity, as we know, can lead to more serious health issues which, in turn, can lead to hospital readmissions and even a lawsuit if negligence is suspected.
“Most caregivers and nutritionists are aware that certain foods and vitamin supplements can help aging muscles and joints,” says Shane. “What happens is that, between visiting relatives and special dinners and events, it’s easy for even those on special diets to get off track.”
Here’s the point that Shane wants senior living communities to understand. Foods really can help. And they really can hurt. Aegis works with communities to help ensure they are using foods as part of their nutritional plan for residents struggling with arthritis and other discomforts associated with joint inflammation.
Here are the lists Aegis recommends you have on hand and use consistently: