VIT B12 ALERT!
Docs can easily test for levels of Vit B 12, and in light of the following it might be a good idea to get your elder's levels tested, Good food sources include liver and other red meats, turkey, fish and shellfish. This is also a caution for the doctors who say, "Let them eat cake, they have made it this far."
Additional information about Vit B12 from the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health describes symptoms of deficiency which inclide but are not limited to anemia, fatigue, weakness, neuroligical symptoms (tingling) constipation, loss of appetite, and weight loss, difficulty maintaining balance, depression, confusion, dementia, poor memory, and soreness of the mouth or tongue. The neurological symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can occur without anemia, so early diagnosis and intervention is important to avoid irreversible damage. Also this bulletin describes seniors as one of the "at risk" groups due to decreased Vit B 12 absorption.
This is just one nutrient amongst many. With a poor diet, many many be involved, each of which plays an important role in the body.
The Mayo Clinic cautions that type 2 diabetes may increase your risk of developing Alzheimers.Type 2 diabetes can be avoided or even treated by proper diet and exercise. Another study (Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas, Columbia University) links following the Mediterranean Diet with a lowered risk of developing Alzheimer's. And yet another study (N Engl J Med, Vol. 346, No. 7 · February 14, 2002, Sudha Seshadri M.D et al) links high plasma homocysteine levels as a strong risk factor for developing Alzheimers. Folic acid (a vitamin B) intake lowers homocysteine levels which rise as we age.
If I had posted this as a question, it could have been "As we grow older, how important is dìet to our overall wellbeing, and maintenance of good health?"