Elderly Woman with Dementia Gets Memory Back with Diet Changes

Mediterranean Diet

Brain Boosting Foods

Elderly Woman  with Dementia Could no Longer Recognize her Son

An 82-year-old woman living in the UK with dementia could no longer recognize her son. Since they were such a small family, her son Mark Hatzer felt he had lost another parent. His father had passed away from a heart attack in 1987 and his only sibling, a brother named Brent had also died in 1977, so it was just Mark and his mum.

His Quest to Help his Mother Led him to Brain Boosting Foods

He began searching through research and diets that were supposed to help dementia. He discovered that people living in Mediterranean countries had a lower rate of dementia than people living in other places and decided to give it a try. Besides fish, his research also led him to walnuts, Brazil nuts, strawberries and blueberries. He added broccoli, leafy greens like kale and spinach, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, green tea, oats, and dark high cocoa chocolate. It took time, but Mark refused to give up on a mother that could no longer recognize her son and finally his mother Sylvia began to get her memory back. The dietary changes they made finally began to bear fruit, as Sylvia now knew who Mark was and was also able to remember birthdays and go out and meet with friends. Recipes that they made together for all these brain boosting foods are being shared by the Alzheimer’s Society.

Cognitive Exercises

Mark also brought his mother crosswords and jigsaw puzzles that help with strengthening cognitive function and he also found a kind of pedaling device so she could do exercises while sitting in a chair.

Mother Showed Signs of Dementia

Mark had first noticed changes in his mother’s memory three years ago. Mark saw that his mother was becoming more and more forgetful and showing other signs of beginning dementia such as difficulty concentrating, increased confusion, behavior and personality changes and was unable to do and finish simple tasks.

Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease

Sylvia was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2016. She also developed epilepsy, which can be a side effect from dementia. A fall from a seizure put Sylvia in the hospital where she began thinking that the nurses and staff members had kidnapped her. After two months Sylvia was discharged from the hospital, but she no longer recognized her own son. However, in spite of all this that for Mark was such a devastating experience, he made up his mind that there must be some way to help his mother, even though a real cure has not been found for Alzheimer’s disease.

Research has Shown Mediterranean Diet and Extra Virgin Olive Oil may Help Prevent Cognitive Decline

There have been several scientific studies that show that the Mediterranean Diet can help to protect against aging and cognitive decline. Also studies with mice showed that extra virgin olive oil, a key ingredient in the Mediterranean Diet, can improve memory function in mice.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the world’s most common form of dementia. It is estimated that about 5.7 million Americans are afflicted with it and 50 million people suffer from it worldwide. Alzeimer’s is believed to begin about 10 years before it shows symptoms and by the time there are symptoms the brain has already been significantly damaged with unusual protein folding that leads to beta amyloid plaques and tau tangles. Alzheimer’s shows significant memory loss – especially short-term memory, confusion and a progressive decline in the ability to function and do simple every day tasks. Psychiatric and sleep disturbances as well as personality changes may also take place. The disease eventually shuts the person down, so that they spend most of their time being bed-ridden, unable to do anything until they die.

Doctors Recommend Lifestyle changes

Millions of dollars have been invested in funding research in the hope of finding a cure for Alzheimer’s, a way to prevent it or a way to slow down the progress of the disease. So far all have failed and this has led doctors and researchers to promote lifestyle changes like following the Mediterranean Diet and other plant-based diets, getting lots of physical exercise, giving up smoking and drinking alcohol only occasionally in moderate amounts.

Need for Long-Term Care

If your loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia, the day may come, when for their own safety, they may need to go to short or long-term care. Look for a skilled rehab and nursing facility that has a memory care unit, lots of recreational activities and offers a healthy cuisine like the Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Syracuse, New York.


This is a very heartwarming story of a son’s love for his mother and no harm can come from trying some of their recipes in the hope that other people may also find them helpful.



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