Does your aging relative feel tired all the time?
Are they likely to catch numerous colds each year?
Will wounds heal slower than expected?
Do they often mention bone pain and/or back pain?
Have you noticed frequent mood swings and subdued emotions?
If your elderly loved one doesn’t seem like their old self lately and they are showing you more than a few of the above symptoms, it’s possible that they may have a vitamin D deficiency. Because many of the symptoms are associated with old age, it’s not unusual for busy family caregivers to just ignore the signs, leaving their loved one undiagnosed and untreated.
How Can Seniors Develop Vitamin D Deficiency?
When the body is deficient in vitamin D, an elderly adult’s health will suffer. The effects of the lack of this essential vitamin in seniors come about for several reasons. The first factor in why aging Americans may develop a vitamin D deficiency is because they have reduced mobility and struggle to get out of the house and into the sun. Because vitamin D is made when the sun’s UVB rays strike the surface of the skin, it’s important for seniors to get a little sun exposure each week. The majority of an elderly person’s vitamin D intake is done via exposure way. The rest is obtained by eating fortified food (cereal, milk and juice, for example) plus supplemented vitamin D pills.
Can Elder Care Providers Help?
Because elderly adults who need support from family caregivers and senior care providers often cannot manage their daily living tasks, they depend on their support group to help them avoid vitamin D deficiencies. Elder care providers can make sure the aging adult spends a little time each week out in the sunlight. This can be a challenge in the winter, but elder care providers can help seniors dress for the weather and take a short walk or sit on a sunny porch for a few minutes.
Lightboxes are another way that elderly adults can gain exposure to the appropriate amounts of light that their body needs to make vitamin D. These are specially designed to mimic sunlight and trigger the same physical responses as sunlight. Elder care providers can set up the lightbox and help the aging adults sit in front of it for the recommended time. The lightbox is especially helpful during cold winter weather or for those who are bedridden. Studies show that light box therapy is quite effective in helping that vitamin D production in the body.
Your elderly loved one needs you to look after their overall health and wellness. Be sure to learn all the warning signs for vitamin D deficiency and do everything you can to ensure they don’t miss out on this important nutrient. Elderly adults can’t often manage their meals or figure out ways to get light exposure, so if you can’t be there for your aging relative all the time, consider hiring an elder care provider. Vitamin D deficiency is totally preventable, and an elder care provider is ideal to assist seniors with all kinds of supportive measures to ensure it doesn’t happen to them.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care in Glencoe, IL, call the caring staff at LifeCare Home Health & In-Home Services. Call (888) 606-4199 LifeCare serves all of the Chicago Metro Area.
- How Does Physical Therapy Help Prevent Senior Falls? - May 12, 2023
- Types of Home Health Care Nursing Services - May 4, 2023
- Detecting Early Signs of Alzheimer’s with Alzheimer’s Care - April 28, 2023