If your aging relative isn’t getting enough vitamin D, they could be at risk for health problems, like brittle and misshapen bones. Vitamin D is also, apparently, a factor in insulin production and how the immune system works. According to the Mayo Clinic, people over the age of 65 are at particular risk for vitamin D deficiency because of the way they eat, because they don’t spend enough time in the sun, or for other reasons. Once they reach the age of 70, older adults need to get 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily. If you’re not sure your aging relative is getting enough vitamin D, here are some signs you can watch for.
People who aren’t getting enough vitamin D may have a weakened immune system. As a result, they may get sick often. Research has shown a connection between low vitamin D levels and respiratory illnesses, like colds, bronchitis, and pneumonia. One study even showed that people with COPD benefited from taking a vitamin D supplement.
Not getting enough vitamin D can cause fatigue. Studies show that people who have low blood levels of vitamin D are more likely to complain of frequent tiredness. Being tired all the time can make it hard for your aging relative to live an active lifestyle. They may turn down invitations to do things or be unable to accomplish tasks around the house.
Vitamin D helps the body use calcium effectively, which is necessary for strong and healthy bones. If your older family member is experiencing bone pain or pain in their lower back, it could be a sign of low vitamin D. Studies indicate that being deficient in vitamin D increases the chances of feeling pain in bones of the ribs and legs. It also increased the risk of feeling joint pain.
Slow Healing Wounds
If injuries or incisions from surgery take a long time to heal, it could be a sign of low vitamin D. Vitamin D is believed to help new cells to grow to seal and mend wounds. In addition, it may help to control inflammation and infection, letting wounds heal more quickly.
If your aging relative isn’t getting enough vitamin D, elderly care can assist them to boost their levels. Doctors may suggest a vitamin D supplement, which an elderly care provider can remind the older adult to take. An elderly care provider can also make meals that contain foods that are rich in vitamin D, such as oily fish, mushrooms, eggs, and foods fortified with vitamin D. An elderly care provider can also help the senior get outside to sit in the sun for a short time each day.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Red Lodge, MT, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare Billings today at 406-839-2390.