A growing body of scientific research points to the important role played by diet in the cause, prevention and management of Alzheimer’s disease.
Based on early evidence, in 2006 Senior Living Residences (SLR) committed ourselves to developing and implementing a comprehensive “brain healthy” approach to improving the diet of seniors in our own communities and the senior population as a whole. We engaged an internationally recognized consultant whose work reviewing hundreds of studies showing the connections between diet, cognitive health, aging, and related risk factors for Alzheimer’s formed the foundation of the new nutrition program, which launched in 2009.
SLR was the First in the Nation to Offer a Brain Healthy Diet to Residents
Senior Living Residences was the first assisted living company to offer a specialized diet, based on research, incorporating brain healthy foods and spices into everyday meals to improve overall brain health.
The Brain Healthy Cooking program is based on the Mediterranean Diet and favors ingredients such as nuts, fish, seafood, olive oil, dark berry fruits, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, specific spices, and foods containing omega-three fatty acids. SLR community residents benefit from menu offerings rich in these "brain healthy foods." Our recipes also reduce cholesterol by substituting healthy fats for saturated and trans fats, as well as refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup by substituting healthier sweeteners. All of these foods in the right combinations help to regulate blood sugar and provide the body with antioxidants and nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties, essential to brain health.
In addition to creating tasty brain healthy meals for residents, SLR communities also share a commitment to locally sourced food. This commitment has connected us to top-notch food purveyors, local farms and fisheries. We are proud to offer our residents meals made with fresh ingredients and throughout Spring, Summer and Fall 80% of those ingredients are farmed locally . Read more about our Farm-to-Table approach.
We invite you to peruse BrainHealthyCooking.com, our award-winning companion website. This site offers unique healthful recipes created by our communities' executive chefs, the latest scientific research linking specific foods and spices to enhanced cognitive function, cooking videos, nutrition tips, and free samples of Senior Living Residences' "Spice of Life" salt-substitute which promotes brain health.
We Pay More for Good Food and our Residents are Worth It!
Buying these right ingredients increased SLR’s food budget overall, but with "Resident Quality of Life” as our #1 priority, it was important that we incorporate brain healthy foods into our everyday menus. And because food that is good for you should also taste good, our talented chefs have done an outstanding job of creating delicious "brain healthy" recipes, taste-tested and approved by our customers!
Eating to Boost Brain Health at any Age!
Our Brain Healthy Cooking Program is designed to improve cognitive function for people of any age whether or not you have memory loss. Scientists researching Alzheimer’s disease now know that changes and damage in the brain begins well before - sometimes decades before - there are any symptoms. Following a brain healthy diet can be an important step to take to protect your own brain health - even if you are not noticing changes to your memory.
Brain Healthy Cooking is for Everyone
Because Senior Living Residences is an industry leader in Alzheimer’s care with a special expertise in brain healthy nutrition, we consider it a responsibility to advocate on the issue of brain healthy cooking and eating for everyone. SLR conducts public education in a number of ways, including:
- Continuing education courses (with CEU credit available) for eldercare professionals
- Public educational seminars at our communities and in partnership with local senior centers and community continuing education programs
- Presentations and taste-testing events at our own communities for residents and their families
- Featured recipes and news about related scientific research on our blog, AgeRight.org
- BrainHealthyCooking.com which features cooking tips, recipes, spice information, and more!
- Publicity campaigns aimed at educating the public about the benefits of brain healthy eating