Mark Hatzer feared he had lost another parent when his mother’s dementia got so bad that she had to be kept in the hospital for her own safety.
Sylvia, who was being cared for by nurses, was unable to recognize him due to her Alzheimer’s, so she called the police and reported them for kidnapping.
Yet the combination of their high-blueberry and high-walnut diets has had such a significant effect on Sylvia’s condition that the Alzheimer’s Association is now sharing their recipes.
Mark, a Prestwich resident whose father passed away from a heart attack in 1987, had first noticed his mother’s forgetfulness three years ago.
She occasionally had trouble remembering birthdays or plans she had made with friends, and in December 2016, she was given a dementia diagnosis after this started happening more frequently.
Deterioration happened pretty quickly. The following March, Sylvia, 82, was rushed to North Manchester General Hospital after experiencing a seizure and falling. Epilepsy is a common complication of Alzheimer’s disease.
It is one of the great care facilities for dementia patients.
Mark, 50, “hit the lowest point of his life” at this point when his mother failed to recognize him.
Sylvia had accused the staff of kidnapping her, so doctors requested that she could be sectioned. It took two months before she could be discharged, even though this was ultimately unnecessary.
Former telephonist Sylvia is still living at home a year after the low point and has completely changed.
The Alzheimer’s Society, a nonprofit organization, uses her as an example of how the illness can be greatly arrested, if not entirely beaten.
She attends tea dances, can remember birthdays once more and can take care of many of her own needs.
A big portion of the shift can be attributed to a diet and recipes that Mark and Sylvia developed together, which include walnuts, blueberries, and other foods that are good for the brain.
In light of the fact that dementia rates are significantly lower in Mediterranean countries, they determined that medication was insufficient on its own and copied their eating practices.
Mark, whose brother Brent also passed away in 1977, recalled that his mother thought the hospital was a hotel—but it was the worst one she had ever been in. “She didn’t recognize me and called the police because she believed she had been abducted”, mark said.
“My mother and I have always been a very close-knit family since my father and brother passed away, so it was painful for her not to know who I was.
“As a duo, we traveled everywhere together. Having no other family to turn to made me despair, and I had never felt so alone.
“We moved from being a happy family to one in trouble overnight.
“After she left the hospital, I believed that we should try an alternative form of treatment rather than the prescribed drug. Due to dietary differences, Alzheimer’s disease is almost unknown in other nations.
Everyone is aware of fish, but there are also other foods that are healthy for the brain, like blueberries, strawberries, Brazil nuts, and walnuts, which are shaped like a brain.
Sunflower seeds, green tea, oats, sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale, and spinach are some more things Sylvia started including in her diet. As a treat, she also started enjoying dark chocolate with a high cocoa content.
But, mother and son also took other moves forward.
Jigsaw puzzles and crossword puzzles, interacting with others in social groups, and a little pedaling device that Sylvia could use to exercise while sitting still are all examples of cognitive exercises.
Lawyer Mark said: “It wasn’t an immediate miracle, but after a few months, she started remembering things like birthdays and was becoming her old self again, more awake, more interested.
“Many believe that your life is over the moment you receive a dementia diagnosis. There will be good and bad days for you, but they don’t have to be the last days.
“For an 82-year-old, she performs wonderfully; she appears 10 years younger, and if you met her, you would not realize what she has been through.
She needed help with a variety of issues, but things are now going her way. In this country, people are living longer but perhaps not necessarily healthier lives.
The Alzheimer’s Society helped and supported Mark and Sylvia’s method.
The charity provides its diet and exercise routine on its website, prints flyers with its recipes, and links to Mark’s blog on Sylvia’s condition.
Meanwhile, Mark’s employer, Slater and Gordon, has shown its support by introducing new “brain-boosting” menus in the staff canteen of the Manchester law firm cantin.
The icing on the cake is that the mother and son have been invited to the Queen’s Garden Party this summer in appreciation of Sylvia’s efforts to inspire thousands of other people who are living with dementia.
“For my mother, knowing that she has benefited other people, has truly helped her,” Mark added.
“I made this for my mother because she has the illness and has put in the most effort, but it’s amazing if what we’ve accomplished will help other people as well.
“Our country lags behind other nations; care facilities are overflowing with abandoned residents. Nonetheless, as people age, they continue to play a part in society.
“They don’t realize that dementia—which kills more people in this nation than heart disease or cancer—gets less financing, creating a disaster.”
The Alzheimer’s Society’s Sue Clarke praised Sylvia and her son Mark for acting to develop a personalized strategy that is effective for her dementia diagnosis.
A good diet, regular mild exercise, and cognitive activities can all help someone with dementia manage their illness more successfully. Nevertheless, there is currently no known cure for dementia or means to stop its spread.
Every three minutes, someone in the UK gets dementia, and almost everyone is familiar with someone whose life has been impacted. But far too many people struggle with the illness alone.
The Alzheimer’s Society can offer guidance on how to cope well with the condition.
Diet is a main part of the human body. There may be advanced dementia care, but you should still be able to control your diet.
Dietary Suggestions For Advanced dementia And Alzheimer’s Patients
- Fish such as salmon or mackerel, as well as other meals high in Omega 3 oil, should be consumed two to three times a day.
- Wholegrain foods, particularly oats
- Wholemeal bread
- Swede, carrots, and sweet potatoes
- Leafy green veggies like spinach, kale, and broccoli
- Mushrooms, particularly the brown variety
- Nuts, particularly walnuts and Brazil nuts
- Berries are preferred, particularly blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. Not frozen, but fresh.
- Seeds of a sunflower.
- Spices and herbs.
- Tea, especially herbal and green teas, with low-fat or no milk and no sugar.
- Premium dark chocolate (with a cocoa content of 70 per cent or more)
Have you heard about dementia before? Do you know anyone suffering from dementia? Please let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to spread the news so that we can hear from more people.