After a stroke, seniors may need nutritional intervention to prevent a second stroke. They may also have new neurological deficits that have caused chewing and swallowing problems and may be limited in the foods they can eat. Here are six foods senior stroke survivors should eat during recovery.
Stroke survivors should eat foods that lower the risk for additional strokes. During recovery, encourage your senior loved one to eat fresh fish such as mackerel, as it’s high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids prevent blood clots and therefore lower the risk for heart attack and stroke. Eating mackerel may also lead to healthier lipid profiles while reducing the risk for cardiac arrhythmias.
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Also high in omega-3 fatty acids, almonds are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and magnesium. It’s important that elderly stroke survivors consume foods rich in magnesium, as it prevents hypertension while enhancing cardiovascular health. If your loved one has difficulty chewing or swallowing, almonds can be ground up in a food processor and added to healthy shakes or smoothies.
The physician may have prescribed an anticoagulant medication or daily aspirin following your loved one’s stroke. While effective at reducing blood clots, heart attacks, and stroke risk, these medications can cause gastrointestinal bleeding, leading to the development of iron-deficiency anemia. Spinach is rich in iron and can reverse anemia. It also contains other stroke-reducing nutrients such as folate, potassium, and magnesium, and it’s easy to chew and swallow.
4. Low-Fat Dairy
Low-fat dairy products such as yogurt are also good food choices for senior stroke survivors. Rich in calcium, yogurt and other low-fat dairy products, such as ricotta and cottage cheeses and 2 percent milk, are well tolerated by most people, and they’re easy to swallow. Low-fat dairy products are especially good for postmenopausal stroke survivors, who may be deficient in calcium and at high risk for bone fractures.
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. Victoria 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.
5. Navy Beans
High in lean protein, navy beans are a good source of fiber for senior stroke survivors. Stroke-related neurological issues can affect the gastrointestinal system, raising the risk for constipation. Stroke survivors may also be at risk for bowel obstruction or fecal impaction, which, if not recognized and treated quickly, can lead to high blood pressure, severe pain, and even bowel perforation. Fiber-rich navy beans may be a better option for stroke survivors than laxatives or stool softeners, which can cause side effects such as abdominal pain and diarrhea.
6. Chicken Breast
Because your loved one may feel weak and tired after a stroke, lean sources of protein such as chicken breast should be consumed. Low in fat, chicken breast also contains vitamin B-6, magnesium, and potassium, all of which may reduce the risk for another cerebrovascular event. If your loved one has chewing or swallowing difficulties, the chicken breast can be ground in a food processor.
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. Reach out to one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (250) 592-4881.