Vitamin D is an important nutrient that helps seniors maintain bone health and reduce inflammation. A senior naturally makes this vital vitamin when he or she is exposed to UV radiation from the sun. Due to reduced sunlight during winter, seniors are at high risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency. Mesa home caregivers recommend your loved one take the following steps to maintain sufficient levels of vitamin D in his or her body.
1. Eat Seafood and Fortified Dairy Products
Seafood is one of the richest natural sources of vitamin D. Swordfish, salmon, and tuna are loaded with this important nutrient. Cod liver oil is also a good source of vitamin D. Seafood also contains essential fatty acids that deliver other health benefits, such as enhanced heart function. Dairy products fortified with vitamin D are another valuable source of the nutrient. A live-in caregiver in Mesa can encourage your loved one to eat fortified dairy products and seafood during the winter months to benefit from these sources of vitamin D.
2. Go Outside
Sunlight is a vital source of vitamin D. As they grow older, seniors lose their ability to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight, which makes it important for them to spend at least 30 minutes a day in direct sunlight. Your loved one should not use excessive sunscreen during winter since it can reduce the amount of sunlight absorbed by the skin.
3. Take Dietary Supplements
Seniors who are deficient in vitamin D might be prescribed supplements of at least 800 IU each day. An overdose of vitamin D is unlikely to cause any major side effects. If your loved one wears dentures, vitamin D supplements are available in gummy form for easy chewing and digestion.
4. Maintain Calcium Levels
Vitamin D and calcium work together to maintain proper bone health. Eating too little or too much calcium affects the absorption of vitamin D in the body. Make sure your loved one gets sufficient calcium to ensure the vitamin D can do its job. Fish, legumes, tofu, and leafy greens are rich sources of calcium.
With the right combination of diet and exercise, your loved one can maintain optimal levels of vitamin D in the body. Reach out to Home Care Assistance to customize a care plan for your loved one and learn about our reliable Mesa home care. Our highly trained caregivers promote physical and emotional wellbeing by encouraging seniors to eat nutritious meals and engage in physical exercise. Call a friendly Care Manager today at (480) 699-4899.