Essential Vitamins for Seniors to Stay Healthy

Interim HealthCare Blogs
Posted: 9/22/2020 4:52 PM by Interim HealthCare
What Essential Vitamins do Seniors Need to Stay Healthy?
 A healthy and balanced diet ensures we get all the nutrients we need. However, with age, our nutritional requirements change, and we require specific vitamins in larger quantities. Moreover, hormonal changes make it difficult for our bodies to absorb the nutrients from food. As a result, we experience nutrition deficiency, which can lead to a variety of diseases. 
 
Vitamins and minerals essential for those over age 65
Our bodies change as we age. Our metabolism decreases, and hence our gut can no longer absorb critical nutrients. So, we must be mindful of getting these essential vitamins and minerals in the right amount to ensure our senior loved ones remain healthy. 

Here is a list of vital vitamins and minerals that seniors need to take as supplements.
Vitamin D – We do not talk enough about the benefits of vitamin D to remain healthy. Often called the “sunshine vitamin,” our body makes this vitamin from sunlight. Due to lack of mobility, seniors may not have this vitamin in sufficient quantities, which negatively affects their body’s ability to get an adequate amount of vitamin D. Vitamin D is also linked to bone health because if a senior is deficient of vitamin D leads to brittle bones and making our senior loved ones more prone to fractures from falling.

Vitamin D can be received from a 20-minute exposure to the sun; small amounts can be found in oily fish, margarine, eggs, fortified breakfast, and yogurt. In most cases, as we age, we must include a supplement of Vitamin D to ensure we are getting the required amount for a healthy body. 

Calcium – We all know the role this mineral plays in our bone health. Calcium keeps our bones and teeth healthy. It also helps in the proper working of our blood vessels, nerves, and cells. The deficiency of this mineral causes ailments like osteoporosis. Milk and dairy products are loaded with calcium. 

As we age, our bodies start to lose more of this mineral, and hence taking supplements becomes necessary. Women need more calcium after menopause. Women over 50 and men over 65 should get 20% more calcium than adults. So, if you have elderly loved ones in your family, ensure that they are consuming a calcium-rich diet.

Vitamin B12 – This vitamin is essential for various organs of the body. Vitamin B12 helps in producing blood and nerve cells. We get this vitamin from meat, fish, and eggs. As people grow old, the stomach loses its ability to absorb this vitamin from food. Did you know that B12 is linked to dementia? We have to be careful about maintaining the right balance of this vitamin. 

Care for mom and dad must include checking their blood to see where there may be some deficiencies and giving them supplements, if necessary. Apart from the vitamins we mentioned, senior citizens over 65 need certain minerals as well. 

Potassium – Potassium plays a crucial role in controlling our blood pressure. We need to maintain a proper balance of potassium along with sodium in our body. We get potassium from fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. Make sure that the seniors in your family are getting the proper amount of potassium through diet. If they are under in-home care, their caregivers can provide reminders to take their medications and supplements.

Iron – Another vital mineral that our body needs. Iron deficiency causes anemia. Dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and arugula are loaded with iron. 

If you are worried about ensuring that mom and dad are taken care of when they are in their 70s and 80s, an in-home care service like Interim HealthCare can provide you with peace of mind and care for your loved ones. with in home care, we provide care with Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) such as running errands, meal prep, help with moving around the house, and many other ways to keep mom and dad safe in the home. Our caregivers are professional and dedicated to serving the elderly community with compassion and empathy.