From Alzheimer’s News Today:
A recent study revealed the potential of a walnut-enriched diet to benefit brain-health. The animal study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and details how a diet including walnuts may have positive effects against Alzheimer’s disease by reducing the risk of contracting the disease, delaying the onset, and slowing the progression.
The research was led by Abha Chauhan, PhD, head of the Developmental Neuroscience Laboratory at the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities (IBR) and the outcomes are that mice fed with a walnut-enriched diet had substantial improvement in memory, learning skills, motor development, and reduced anxiety.
The high antioxidant portion existent in walnuts (3.7 mmol/ounce) may act as a brain protective factor against the degeneration common in Alzheimer’s disease. Both oxidative stress and inflammation are prominent features in Alzheimer’s disease.
More than 5 million people in the US are affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
This post originally appeared on the LivHome blog.
More than 40% of adults over 60 feel lonely on a regular basis, and the cost of senior isolation is high: chronic loneliness among older adults is a predictor of functional decline and even death. Unfortunately, in our modern times seniors and their families often live far apart. How do we stay close to older loved ones when we can’t see them every day?
I believe very strongly in the power of thoughtful gifts to ease senior isolation. Gifts are a great way to show love when you’re not able to visit. Don’t know what to get? Here are a few gift guidelines:
- Keep it simple. Most people over 60 have all the “stuff” they need. Rather than sending large or expensive items, send a few smaller gifts. Things that they can use such as snacks, stationery, and personal care items are always appreciated.
- Make it pretty. Nicely wrapped presents, no matter what they are, really show that you care.
- Make it personal. The best part of the gift is the thought behind it. That warm feeling of being loved lasts much longer than the present itself. Personal touches like photos and a note add a great deal to the gift experience.
My own grandparents live thousands of miles away. The best part about sending them gifts is always the phone call that comes when the package arrives, when I can hear the joy in their voices. These experiences inspired me to create a service that helps other people stay close to their older loved ones.
My company Gramsly makes care packages for seniors, and we customize each one based on the intended recipient. I love learning about my customer’s loved ones and and choosing the perfect gifts for them. Every box tells a unique story that I feel privileged to share. One person sent a Gramsly box to celebrate a 99th birthday. Another client sent a box to her grandmother who was unable to attend her upcoming wedding. Gramsly boxes are also sent as “get well” gifts or holiday presents. In all cases, the senior recipients are overjoyed that someone thought enough of them to send a present. Most importantly, the gift giving invariably leads to a heartfelt conversation between the giver and the recipient, bringing them closer together.
Every day Gramsly helps families stay connected. If you’d like to send a gift to someone special, please visit our website for more information.
Most of our customers live far from their older loved ones, and don’t get to see the immediate reaction when a Gramsly gift is delivered:
Music & Memory is a nonprofit that provides personalized music therapy for patients with Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia:
Based on neuroscience research, Music & Memory helps set up playlists that trigger deep memories not lost to dementia, enabling patients to” feel like themselves again.” According to their website, the program consistently yields the following results in nursing home patients:
Residents are happier and more social.
Relationships among staff, residents and family deepen.
Everyone benefits from a calmer, more supportive social environment.
Staff regain valuable time previously lost to behavior management issues.
There is growing evidence that a personalized music program gives professionals one more tool in their effort to reduce reliance on anti-psychotic medications.
For more information, or to donate to the organization, please visit http://musicandmemory.org/.
A very special program allows students with autism to form unique friendships with the elderly (via the Huffington Post):
The Lionheart School provides a specialized learning environment for students, including a vocational program that brings their older students who have autism together with senior citizens in a win-win of friendship and real-world training.
What a lovely idea!
Here at Gramsly we’re always on the lookout for interesting and uplifting content about senior citizens. So much of the news focuses on the darker side of life. For instance, this morning the top result of a Google News search for “grandmother” was a gruesome story about a grandmother murdered in a nudist community. The second most popular story was about a grandmother and her 3 grandchildren perishing in a mobile home fire. But at the same time, so many wonderful things are happening in the senior world:
We understand that the media outlets have a job to do, and that job includes reporting the bad news. However, we know that there’s a lot more to the story of getting older than what is being reported. Gramsly loves senior citizens and thinks they deserve to be celebrated for their wisdom & life experiences, and recognized as human beings with valuable stories to tell. That’s why we’re starting a new series on the blog called “Meet A Senior,” where we’ll feature senior citizens and tell their stories.
The good news is that anyone can be featured! If you know a senior (including yourself!) that wants to participate, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Gramsly, we often hear from customers who want to send snacks to older loved ones with diminished appetites. Loss of appetite is a reality of getting older, and can be due to many factors. According to A Place for Mom, an astonishing 1 in 4 seniors suffer from poor nutrition:
Resources by A Place for
We take senior nutrition seriously, and we like to include healthy sweets like LARAbars in our senior care packages because they are nutritious and taste good to an older palate. Since they’re made with fruit and nuts only, LARAbars are sweet enough to stimulate an appetite, while also providing much needed vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These bars are a big hit, even among the “picky eaters.” (Please note that we’ve received no compensation from LARAbar, either for this post or for inclusion of their products in our care packages. We’re just big-time fans!)
We’re always on the lookout for new snacks that seniors like to eat. If you have a go-to snack for the senior in your life, please let us know in the comments or email email@example.com.