VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY IN THE WINTER & OLDER PEOPLE
One of the most critical aspects of remaining healthy for older people is ensuring that they get the vitamins and nutrients that their bodies need. Vitamins have many health benefits for seniors, leading to a happier and healthier lifestyle.
An extremely important vitamin to take during the winter is vitamin D. People get less Vitamin D during the colder months, as the result of not being outside as often with the drop in temperature and challenging weather conditions.
Let’s take a closer look at vitamin D, its benefits, signs of not getting enough of it, and ways seniors can avoid a deficiency.
WHAT IS VITAMIN D?
According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin D, also referred to as Calciferol is a fat-soluble vitamin naturally present in a few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. It is also produced when the Sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. Good food sources for vitamin D include shrimp, salmon, egg yolk, yogurt, and fortified cereal.
THE BENEFITS OF VITAMIN D FOR SENIORS
There are a number of great benefits for seniors who regularly ingest vitamin D, including:
- Helps to reducing inflammation.
- Regulates mood and improves symptoms of depression.
- Promotes cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and glucose metabolism.
- Decreases the chance of heart disease.
- Supports immune health.
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SYMPTOMS OF VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY IN THE ELDERLY
Here are some common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency in seniors.
- Bone or muscle pain/weakness.
- Stress fractures, especially in the legs, pelvis, and hips.
HOW SENIORS CAN GET ENOUGH VITAMIN D IN THE WINTERTIME
Winter can seem endless, with cold and dreary weather and limited sun. However, vitamin D can play a role in improving mood, giving seniors the energy and nutrients that they need to feel good.
Here are some great ways that older people can ensure that they are getting enough vitamin D not only in the winter, but all year long.
Diet is crucial for senior during all times of the year, but especially in winter when they do not go outside as often. By having a diet that includes egg yolks, salmon, yogurt, fortified cereals, cheese, mushrooms, shrimp, or fatty fish, proper vitamin D levels can be maintained.
Go Outside, Even in the Winter
The Sun is vital in many aspects of people’s lives, especially in terms of vitamin D. Even in the winter months, it’s important for seniors to get outside if possible. Whether it be by running errands, going for a quick walk, or shoveling, they will always benefit from the Sun’s rays by stepping out for a bit.
Take a Supplement
Along with adding vitamin D-rich foods to a senior’s diet and spending some time outside, regularly taking a vitamin D supplement will drastically decrease their chances of developing a deficiency. Older adults should consult a doctor on how much to take daily.
FRONTIER MANAGEMENT IS HERE TO HELP
Frontier is committed to all seniors living their best life and being as healthy as possible. Avoiding a vitamin D deficiency in older people is an important part of their overall well-being. If you have any questions about vitamin D levels in an older loved one, our highly experienced team is here to help. We cordially invite you to visit one of our beautiful communities, take a tour and speak with our staff.