People over the age of 50 are more likely to experience a vitamin D deficiency. With age, seniors slowly lose the ability effectively to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight. The kidneys also play a major role in activating the synthesized vitamin D. This ability is also compromised with age. Many seniors have fewer opportunities to get outside and enjoy the sun, especially during the winter months. This further decreases vitamin D levels.
A deficiency in vitamin D can contribute to muscle weakness, hip fractures, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis. Vitamin D also plays a role in the absorption and utilization of calcium. Vitamin D levels influences immune health, too. Below are a few ways McKinney, Texas, home caregivers can help their elderly loved ones boost vitamin D levels during the winter.
There are a few different sources for seniors to acquire the necessary vitamin D:
Vitamin D-Rich Foods – Few foods naturally contain vitamin D. Egg yolks, cheese, beef liver, salmon, mackerel, tuna and cod liver oil are all foods that contain high amounts of vitamin D.
Fortified Foods – Since few foods contain vitamin D naturally, there are many common foods that have vitamin D added to them. Milk, breakfast cereals, and fruit juices are common sources of vitamin D-fortified foods.
Supplements – Studies have shown that only one-third of those living in the United States consume enough vitamin D. An oral supplement is an inexpensive solution live-in McKinney, Texas, caregivers can remind their loved ones to take during the winter.
Sunlight – It takes roughly 30 minutes of sun exposure, twice a week, to produce enough vitamin D to reach the recommended levels. In the winter, there are fewer opportunities to enjoy the sun in colder climates. Some areas receive large amounts of rain in the winter and sunlight is largely unavailable. To overcome this, sun lamps come highly recommended.
Proper supplementation can only be determined by considering the senior’s age, gender, sun exposure, and diet. A trusted McKinney, Texas, at-home care provider can help seniors maintain their vitamin D intake this winter. Contact Home Care Assistance at (972) 548-0392 today to learn how our expertly trained caregivers can help boost your loved one’s wellbeing.