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What Should My Aging Parent Eat While Recovering from a Stroke?

By , 9:00 am on

Older adults recovering from strokes may have special nutritional needs. They may need to consume more nutrient-dense foods that can protect against a second stroke. Strokes can also cause neurological deficits that impair chewing and swallowing. Here are some good food choices seniors should eat while recovering from a stroke.

Cherries

Cherries are thought to reduce the risk for stroke and heart attack because of a pigment in their skin known as anthocyanins. The antioxidants in cherries may also lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels, which are all risk factors in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Eating cherries can also promote restful sleep. Because of the neurological deficits caused by a stroke, the sleep cycle may be disrupted. Cherries, especially tart cherries, can promote drowsiness so your aging loved one can enjoy hours of restorative sleep. If your loved one has vision impairment or cognitive deficits as a result of the stroke, remove the pits from the cherries so he or she doesn’t choke on them.

If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of elderly home care. New Hampshire Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

Fatty Fish

The fish oils in tuna fish and other fresh fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Thought to lower the risk for strokes and heart attacks, omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods are great choices for senior stroke survivors to consume during their recovery. Omega-3 fatty acids may also stave off depression and anxiety, which are common after a stroke. Other foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids include sardines, olive oil, and anchovies. Talk to your loved one’s physician before you offer foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, as they can interfere with the effects of prescription anticoagulants, raising the risk for abnormal bleeding. 

Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. New Hampshire live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place.

Walnuts

Walnuts contain healthy fats that may lower blood pressure, raise “good cholesterol,” lower triglycerides, and enhance brain function after a stroke. They’re also good sources of protein and may increase energy levels during stroke recovery. If your loved one has gastrointestinal issues such as chronic constipation, diverticulosis, or an irritable bowel, ask the doctor if walnuts can still be consumed. While a few walnuts may not hurt your loved one, consuming more than one serving may lead to constipation, abdominal cramping, bloating, and diarrhea.

Low-Fat Yogurt

Rich in calcium and probiotics, low-fat yogurt can enhance sluggish digestion, prevent constipation, and reduce the risk of a second stroke. Yogurt is typically well tolerated by stroke survivors who may have chewing and swallowing difficulties, and it’s an excellent source of lean protein and potassium. Potassium-rich foods are thought to lower blood pressure, which can further reduce the risk for heart attack and stroke. Mixing fresh fruit and low-fat yogurt in a blender makes a delicious and nutritious snack for stroke survivors in recovery.

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home stroke care services, contact us at (603) 471-3004 today.

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