My grandfather is 91 and dementia. He got diabetes type 2 from being in the hospital and being old too. This got me thinking about if the nursing home was paleo, could a lot of these symptoms be reversed? I've read that alzheimers is sometimes called type 3 diabetes.
Also if treatment based on say functional movement, HIIT toned down for the elderly, and integrative health care.
Something quick and easy to try is coconut oil, or pure MCT oil (can buy at Amazon). Have seen good progress with my dad after about 2 weeks (he says his mind is clearer). See www.coconutketones.com for lots of information. Check Dave Asprey's podcast at www.bulletproofexec.com for interview w Dr. Mary Newport who runs that site and has had remarkable results w her husband. Also highly recommend the book "Stop Alzhemier's Now" by Bruce Fife. Not yet finished myself, but quite strong... And in the end the most practical thing is the coconut/MCT oil.
If the nursing homes go 100% paleo, three quarters of the people would end up leaving and going back to their homes!. That would be really bad for their bottom line, thus it could never happen....... Let's all now sing, John Lennon's "IMAGINE".
My grandmother is eating much healthier now that she's in a nursing home versus her own home. Many elderly people stop cooking healthy homemade foods for themselves and start eating microwave or TV dinners, crackers or other snack food. For these folks, just eating regular meals again with some meat and veggies is a huge improvement. My grandma now has to have a pureed diet and she eats pureed meats, veggies and fruits (they don't puree breads) with diabetic low sugar icecream for desert. Probably the best diet she's had in 10 years. And she is getting stronger and clearer-headed with many more lucent, good days. It's fabulous to see.
So, yes. The elderly can definitely improve even pretty severe dementia with improved nutrition. But I doubt it would be practical or even a good idea to remove all bread or beans, since most of the residents have spent 90+ years having a piece of bread with dinner. They would probably be upset and angry at the change and that type of stress isn't any better for them than the roll. My great aunt (grandma's sister) is in the same nursing home and the staff would pay miserably if they took her bread away. She has quite a temper and would be really upset at that type of change. And she wouldn't understand it either. A better approach would be to just get them to eat more of the good foods so they don't eat as much of the bad ones (an approach many paleo parents use with toddlers). My aunt has noticed the change in my grandma and she is sure it's because my grandma is now eating vegetables again. She gets that part and actively encourages my grandma to finish her meat and veggies at dinner.
I worked at a skilled nursing facility. The budget for food was about $5 a day per patient. It would be hard to get anyone in that industry to consider paleo. There are so many reasons why it would not be accepted. The increase in food cost would be the leading excuse. Being out of the scope of practice would be another. Since the resident was not on Paleo before, then if you moved him to a paleo diet and say his dementia got better but his cholesterol went up. If he suddenly died and there was any possible correlation to the elevated cholesterol the SNF would be sued. You could try getting the Doctor to test for celiac's and see if they could at least due gluten free, but the endoscopy test may be to invasive for an elderly individual. You could als try getting it written into an advance directive but your assuming that someone is going to remember it. Your best bet is to speak to the Social Services Director or Director of Nursing and tell them he is allergic to grains, legumes, and dairy. They could put that in his food preference but there is no guarantee that he'd get fed any different. The type 2 diabetics got the same meal as the non diabetics they would just get a different dessert and the RD usually would make the recommendation to start them on insulin. You could try bringing him prepared meals from home but that is daunting to have to so up every day with food. If your wealthy there are SNF's that allow you to hire your own chef and provide a small cooking area.