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Why Vitamin D Is Important for Seniors

By Debbie Nunn, 10:17 am on

Everyone knows it’s important to have adequate amounts of vitamin D in your system, but not everyone knows why. If you’re providing senior care for a loved one, here are a few things you should know about the health benefits of vitamin D.

Vitamin D Deficiency and Its Risks

Essential for absorbing calcium into the system, vitamin D aids healthy bone and muscle growth, boosts the immune system, and sharpens the mind. If a senior doesn’t have an adequate supply, they’re at risk for the following health issues.

  • Weak bones and muscles — Without enough vitamin D, osteoporosis can develop. This condition weakens bones throughout the body, increasing the danger associated with falling as well as several other health problems.
  • A poor immune system — Low vitamin D levels can lead to a higher risk of contracting several common infections such as UTI (urinary tract infection), and even deadly diseases such as the flu and COVID-19.
  • Cognitive decline — Vitamin D helps with the reasoning process, making it easier for seniors to control their emotions. Without it, a person is more likely to suffer cognitive issues as well as depression.
  • A vulnerability to non-infectious diseases — A person with low vitamin D levels is prone to several different kinds of non-infectious diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and a variety of cancers.

Options for Increasing Vitamin D in the System

While elderly people receiving senior care are often vitamin D deficient, there are several things you can do to increase the levels of vitamin D into their system.

  • Get Outside — The best way to gain exposure to vitamin D is still the sun. If the day is bright and sunny, taking your loved one for a walk around the neighborhood is highly recommended. Be mindful, however, of the sun’s risks, and make sure to carefully monitor the length of time exposed to it.
  • Sun Lamps — Whenever it’s dark and cloudy in Clarksville, especially during the winter, sun lamps can take the place of the sun. These too can be harmful if used improperly, so check with your loved one’s doctor in advance.
  • Nutrition — There are several foods that contain vitamin D that you’ll want to include in your loved one’s diet. These include egg yolks, salmon, tuna, and dairy products such as cheese and milk. There are many fruit juices on the market that are fortified with vitamin D, so that’s also a good option.
  • Supplements — Vitamin D is widely available as a supplement, so check with your doctor about the best options.
  • Professional caregiving — Caregivers can carefully monitor your elderly loved one to ensure that they’re getting all the vitamin D they need to remain healthy.

For more advice on how to care for your loved one, or if you require assistance with your senior care needs, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Home Care Assistance of Clarksville, TN.

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