Food for Thought: Our Memory Care Program’s Approach to Dining

In honor of National Alzheimer’s Disease Month, The Ashford spotlights a core aspect of our memory care program– the specially designed menu. With a dedicated focus on active senior living lifestyles, we acknowledge the pivotal role that food choices play in the lives of our residents.

An essential aspect of daily life, food takes center stage, growing in significance as we age and becoming increasingly vital for our overall health. Studies have shown strong links between diet and its potential to support memory.

Mealtime at The Ashford is a delicious blend of nutritious food options and opportunities to bring our residents joy through family-style dining. Here, food supports a greater mission to deliver genuine care that enhances the quality of life for all seniors we serve.

Brain-Boosting Nutrients

The link between healthy eating and cognitive function is well-established in the memory care field. Research consistently highlights the impact of nutrients on reinforcing cognitive abilities and slowing decline.

One example is the MIND Diet, a brain-healthy diet developed by experts at Harvard University. The diet has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The MIND Diet is based on the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).

Essential features of this diet include:

  • High intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein. This includes healthy fats, like olive oil.
  • Low intake of saturated fat and cholesterol & added limitations on red meat, sugar and refined carbs.

Another study by Harvard Health recommends five key foods that are linked to brainpower and healthy heart and blood vessels:

  • Green, leafy vegetables
  • Fatty fish
  • Berries
  • Tea & coffee
  • Walnuts

Our team emphasizes similar nutritionally dense superfoods for residents’ overall health and well-being.

Enhancing Accessibility

For memory care residents, ensuring meal accessibility is crucial. Each of our communities has its own Executive Chef. Meals are served three times daily in our community dining room, with wide-ranging options to suit individual tastes.

We also apply practical adjustments to our residents’ cuisine, like offering boneless chicken and bite-sized sandwiches, making food finger-friendly and easy to consume.

Alzheimer’s can change perceptions of color. For this reason, mealtimes feature red plates, backed by research findings on the impact of color on eating habits.

Likewise, staff carefully monitors residents’ eating habits, preferences and needs. We work to make enjoyable food that is nutritious and appealing.

Community & Wellbeing

We encourage our residents to savor every moment. This includes mealtimes, which we spotlight as daily highlights.

Aligned in many ways with the Alzheimer’s Association’s recommendations for dining, our evidence-based approach aims to provide the highest quality of life and independence possible. Family-style dining for every meal fosters a social environment where residents enjoy nourishing meals alongside meaningful interactions.

Additionally, the team regularly hosts themed dining events promoting active senior living, such as weekly baking therapy and cooking classes. Activities like these allow residents to experience social engagement, practice fine motor skills and improve cognitive function while making brain-healthy treats.

See an example of our weekly activity schedule here.

Life and Dining at The Ashford

At The Ashford, mealtime is just one example of our commitment to translating wellness into all aspects of daily life. By crafting a dining experience that meets the needs and preferences of our residents, we aim to spark joy in every bite and make meals moments of shared community.

If you are looking for memory care that values a genuine home, personalized care and tasty food choices for your loved one, The Ashford might be a great fit. We invite you to select your community of interest here and contact us to learn more.

Why Moving Your Loved One Into a Memory Care Community is the Best Thing You Can Do – For Them and For You

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be a challenging and emotional experience. Over 11 million Americans provide unpaid care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. As your family member’s condition progresses, you may find it increasingly difficult to provide the level of care they need while managing other responsibilities in your life. In such cases, it may be time to consider moving your loved one into memory care rather than continuing to live at home.

Our brand-new senior living community at The Ashford of Beavercreek features a specialized memory care program designed to offer services and amenities that help residents maintain their independence and quality of life. Residents will receive optimized care and support through our award-winning cognitive and ability-based neighborhoods.

Here are some reasons why moving into memory care can be the best decision for your loved one if they are displaying signs of dementia:

1. Specialized care

Our Ashford communities across the state are staffed by tenured professionals trained to provide varying levels of specialized senior care. They understand the unique needs of your loved one, and our team personalizes care by weaving your loved one’s story – their hobbies, interests, needs and history – into daily routines.

2. Safety and security

The best senior living communities are designed with safety and security in mind. At The Ashford, we have secure entrances and exits, as well as other safety features to help prevent wandering and other potential risks associated with dementia.

3. Socialization

Dementia can be a very isolating condition, for both your loved one and for you. We offer a variety of socialization opportunities to help residents stay engaged and connected with others. Our on-and-off-campus activities are proven to stimulate residents’ senses and engage their interests, ranging from the soothing power of music and the therapeutic joy of gardening to the simple pleasures of a warm morning coffee and heartfelt conversations.

4. Access to medical care

The Ashford has medical professionals on staff or on-call, which can be a valuable resource for residents who require medical attention. Our caregivers receive 5x more training than the state requires. In addition, we have relationships with local healthcare providers familiar with senior living in Beavercreek and the needs of our residents.

5. Peace of mind

Seeking senior care can be a difficult decision, but it can also bring peace of mind to both you and your loved one. The mental toll of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or another dementia runs deep, with almost one-third of caregivers experiencing persistent depression. At a memory care community, you can rest assured they are receiving the care and support they need while enjoying a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle.

If your loved one is displaying signs of dementia, moving into memory care can be the best decision for their health, safety and overall quality of life. It can be a difficult decision, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone on this journey. We are here for you.

The Ashford will provide independent living, assisted living and memory care in Beavercreek when we open our doors in the coming months. Contact us here to receive the latest news and updates from our team.