Dr. K. I had you in mind with this one... My father has found himself in a nursing home. He's only 62 but has been living with a traumatic brain injury since 1989. My husband and I used to bring him a lot of his groceries, so he had access to good butter, good tea, good meats and good soups (in house deli made). He's always had a mean sweet tooth, though I try to convince him to limit it when I can. He has a pretty sedentary lifestyle as he has some physical issues too from his accident. Brain is still pretty sharp, though he suffers from aphasia when trying to pronouce the words he is trying to say. (He knows what he wants to say, but can't always get it out - starts the word out ok then flows into incoherency).
he's been in a nursing home for just over a year, and gained about 30 lbs up to 236 or so. he's also been on a low dose of both Lexapro and Abilify that may or may not help stabilize his mood.
Anyways, I was wondering what the best steps to improve his overall health would be given the circumstances. Recommended protective supplements? I'm sure I'm not the only one with family in a nursing home. Anyone else care to relate experiences?
Balancing O6/3 via fish oil supplementation is important, not just for general well being, but also for the proper functioning of the brain.
You may want to consider supplementing lutein and zeaxanthin; these carotenoids are essential for eye health and have been shown to prevent cataracts and (in some cases even improve) age related macular degeneration (the most common cause of loss of eyesight/sight impairment as people age). Lutein and zeaxanthin should be consumed with fat for proper absorption, and benefits start from 6mg lutein and zeaxanthin per day.
A diet high in anti-imflammatory polyphenols like blueberries, dark chocolate and green/white tea will reduce systemtic inflammation, as will supplementation with curcumin, which has excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
This isn't really a supplement per se, but depending on how often he is able to get out and about in the sun, you may want to buy him a therapeutic lamp which mimics the sun's light (used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder). I bought one for my house-bound grandpa, as these have shown to be effective at combating depression/poor concentration and a host of other problems by fooling your body into thinking that you're outside and it's the height of summer. They also make great reading lamps for the elderly.
What sort of flexibility can the care home offer you when it comes to meals? Would they be willing to prepare gluten-free meals and cook with butter instead of vegetable oils?
Edit: It can be all too easy for the elderly to catch infections when living in an "institution", regardless of how hygienic it is. I suggest that you focus on improving his gut health (and thus his immune system) by supplementing prebiotics and probiotics. If falls are a potential worry, it's extra improtant to make sure that he's getting adequate doses of the nutrients related to bone health; magnesium, boron, calcium, K2 and D3.
The first thing that comes to mind is get him on a Vit D3 supplement which does wonders for mood and helps improve the immune system. Someone his size would be able to handle 10,000IU a day for 6 months. Then test. Dr K wants his patients to be at 70 to 100ng/mL.
Dr K previously has said what some of the supplements he takes daily. He will be along soon.
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