The Right Diet Supports Memory Care

Kemper House WorthingtonEating a healthy diet can lower your risk of developing dementia, Alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairments. At Kemper House Worthington, creating healthy and tasty meals that support our residents’ brainpower is one of our top priorities.

The MIND Diet

The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay diet is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diets. The goal of this diet is to eat ten or more servings of specific foods that support brain health and prevent mental deterioration.

There are 15 components of the MIND diet: 10 healthy foods that should be consumed daily or weekly and five foods that should be limited.

Power foods include:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Other vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Berries
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Fish (wild caught)
  • Poultry (free-range, hormone-free)
  • Olive oil
  • Wine

Foods to avoid:

  • Red meat (if desired, max of one serving per week, local farm raised, grass-fed beef only)
  • Butter and margarine
  • Cheese
  • Pastries
  • Fried or fast food

Home-Grown Meals

The culinary staff at Kemper House Worthington incorporate the MIND diet principles in every meal served to our residents.

“We wanted to use nutrition to fight back against dementia,” said Greg Cini, president/owner of Kemper House Central Ohio. “It’s actually improving their health as they’re eating something that they love.”

The staff shop for produce, meat and other groceries at regional markets and farms. They also have meats processed at local butchers.

“We’re always trying to push freshness with everything we do here,” said Head Chef Amy McCray. “It’s always all green or all fresh vegetables. I like to go and look at our coolers some days because it’s all fresh.”

She said that while most people don’t know where their food comes from, everyone at Kemper House Worthington knows precisely where their meals are grown. The residents even help staff grow herbs and vegetables from tower gardens.

The Kemper House Worthington Difference

Another vital factor of meal preparation for people with cognitive impairments is presentation. Serving a meal with contrasting plates and bowls helps attract attention. Maintaining focus at mealtime ensures our residents get the nutrition they need to stay mentally and physically healthy.

The Kemper House Worthington staff also serve food family-style to make people feel more at home during meals.

“Food is everything to everybody,” McCray said. “From the way we set up the tables to the way our staff sits with residents, it just brings them back to home each day.”

Personal preferences are also taken into consideration. Culinary comforts like meatloaf and hamburgers are made healthier, so residents can eat their favorite foods without the calories.

We welcome visitors at Kemper House Worthington and encourage them to try our carefully crafted meals. Contact us online to schedule a tour.