Monday, July 26, 2021
It’s commonly understood that it’s important for seniors to have high levels of vitamin D in their system. Most people, however, don’t understand why this is the case.
If you’re assisting a loved one with senior care, here are a few things you should know about vitamin D.
The Risks of Suffering from Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D plays an important role in assisting the body with the absorption of calcium. Sufficient vitamin D levels boost muscle and bone growth, strengthen teeth, and even sharpen the mind. A deficiency of vitamin D, however, can lead to the following health problems.
- Weak muscles and bones — A lack of vitamin D can lead to a lack of calcium and, therefore, osteoporosis. With osteoporosis comes fragile bones that make falls especially dangerous.
- Poor immune system — Without the immunity-boosting effects of vitamin D, a person is at a higher risk of common infections such as UTI (urinary tract infection), and even deadly diseases such as the flu and COVID-19.
- Cognitive and memory issues — Vitamin D plays a vital role in the reasoning process. Without it, a senior may have difficulty thinking clearly and is more likely to suffer from depression.
- Non-infectious diseases — There are several non-infectious diseases that are more common for those with inadequate vitamin D levels. These include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and several types of cancers.
Hints for Increasing a Senior’s Level of Vitamin D
If you’re the provider of senior care for a loved one, it’s up to you to make sure they’re getting all the vitamin D they need. Here are a few ways to make that happen.
- Walking in the sun — Still, the simplest solution to a lack of vitamin D. Walking with your elderly loved one on a sunny day will provide them with ample exercise and vitamin D. Be sure to carefully monitor the time spent outdoors, however, as too much exposure to the sun can be dangerous.
- Sun lamps — On sunless days, sun lamps can provide your loved one with the vitamin D they would otherwise lack. Sun lamps carry risks, however, so check with a doctor in advance before proceeding.
- Nutrition — Incorporate vitamin D-rich foods into your loved one’s diet such as cheese, milk, and other dairy products, salmon, tuna, and egg yolks. Juices that are fortified with vitamin D are an excellent option as well.
- Supplements — There are many supplements on the market with vitamin D, so ask your doctor which ones they think are best.
- Professional caregiving — Senior care professionals can carefully monitor the senior in your life to make sure they’re getting all the vitamin D they need.
For all your questions regarding senior health concerns — or if you’d like assistance with your family’s senior care needs — contact the experts at Concierge Care.