Vitamin D is a vitamin that your aging relative’s body needs for multiple reasons, including keeping bones healthy and strong. It is found in some foods and can also be made in the skin when it is exposed to direct sunlight. In a recent study, researchers found that vitamin D may be an important part of helping older adults to maintain independence because it improves muscle health.
Vitamin D and Muscle Health
A group of researchers theorized that vitamin D is an important part of older adults staying independent because of the way it affects muscle health. Healthy, strong muscles help seniors to stay mobile and improves their quality of life. To test their theory, the researchers conducted a study involving 4,100 people aged 60 or older.
The researchers found that 4 out of 10 of the participants who were deficient in vitamin D had weak muscles. That was twice the number of people with weak muscles than were present in participants who were getting enough vitamin D.
Why Are Seniors Susceptible to Vitamin D Deficiency?
Older adults are more susceptible to vitamin D deficiency because they typically don’t spend as much time out in the sun as younger people do. In addition, their bodies may not absorb vitamin D as well. Some older adults have difficulty following a healthy diet, so they may not eat foods that contain vitamin D, such as fortified cereal and dairy products as well as fatty fish.
What Are the Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency?
The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can be difficult to notice because they are subtle. To determine if your aging relative might have a vitamin D deficiency, watch for some of these common signs:
- Frequent illness, which occurs because vitamin D is one of the substances that help support the immune system.
- Bone and back pain, caused by bones that are not as strong and healthy as they should be.
- Wounds that heal slowly.
- Hair loss.
- Muscle pain.
If you are concerned that your aging relative may not be getting enough vitamin D, talk to their doctor. The doctor may recommend the use of a vitamin D supplement or a multi-vitamin. They can also suggest foods that can increase the amount of vitamin D in the senior’s diet.
Senior care can also help your older family member to get enough vitamin D. A senior care provider can take the older adult outside for a short time each day to get a healthy amount of sunshine. Senior care providers can also remind the older adult to take their vitamin. In addition, a senior care provider can prepare healthy meals that include foods that contain vitamin D.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Homecare in Cherry Hill, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Attentive Care Inc. 1-800-493-5660