Nowadays, people are way too busy following strict working schedules and are torn between a bunch of commitments so forgetting things may come as a result of that kind of life. Age can also be the reason for the memory laps some get to experience from time to time. But when it occurs very frequently, maybe it’s about time to pay the doctor a visit.
Mark Hatzer could notice how his mother struggled remembering things, and as the condition became severe, she was hospitalized and diagnosed with dementia.
Unfortunately, it got even worse over time so at one moment Sylvia couldn’t even recognize her own son.
“When my mum was in hospital she thought it was a hotel — but the worst one she had ever been in,” Mark explained. “She didn’t recognize me and phoned the police as she thought she’d been kidnapped.”
Mark felt devastated. He had lost his father back in 1987, and now this illness was taking his mom away from him.
“We were a double act that went everywhere together,” he said. “I despaired and never felt so alone as I had no other family to turn to. Overnight we went from a happy family to one in crisis.”
However, this devoted son wasn’t about to give up that easily. He did lots of research and decided to fight the dementia with the right foods.
They learned how the inhabitants of the Mediterranean countries are less likely to suffer from dementia because of their eating habits, so Mark created for Sylvia a special diet.
The foods in the diet are made up of plenty of “brain-boosting” foods, two among them being walnuts and blueberries.
“Everyone knows about fish but there is also blueberries, strawberries, Brazil nuts and walnuts — these are apparently shaped like a brain to give us a sign that they are good for the brain,” Mark explained.
Other important foods she included in her diet were plenty of broccoli, oats, dark chocolate, green tea, and sweet potatoes.
Over time, she started regaining parts of her memory back.
“It wasn’t an overnight miracle but after a couple of months she began remembering things like birthdays and was becoming her old self again, more alert, more engaged,” he explained.
With the combination of body and brain exercise the condition started improving. However, nothing happened overnight. It took a lot of courage and determination, as well as lots of help from family and friends.
“People think that once you get a diagnosis your life is at an end,” Mark said. “You will have good and bad days but it doesn’t have to be the end.”
This diet seemed to work, so the Alzheimer’s society shares Sylvia’s recipes and exercises on their blog hoping they will help other patients ease the symptoms.
“It’s fantastic that Sylvia along with her son Mark have taken action to create a personal plan that works well for her dementia diagnosis,” said Sue Clarke from the Alzheimer’s Society.
“There is currently no cure or way of preventing the progression of the condition, but taking regular gentle exercise, eating a healthy diet and doing cognitive exercises can help someone with dementia manage their condition more effectively.”
Sylvia and Mark’s efforts may help a lot of other people feel better. Their commitment and devotion led to Sylvia being invited to one of Queen Elizabeth’s garden parties.
“For my mum, knowing that she has helped other people, has really helped her,” Mark said.
“I did this for my mum — she has got the condition and she has done all the hard work — but if what we’ve achieved can benefit other people as well then that’s great.”
We are really glad for Sylvia. She is one lucky lady for having raised such an exceptional son like Mark.