When winter rolls around, the days become shorter and colder, which means fewer hours of sunlight and temperatures that keep seniors indoors. Without adequate sun exposure, the body may not effectively produce a sufficient amount of vitamin D. A deficiency of vitamin D prevents the body from efficiently absorbing calcium, which leads to osteoporosis. The common nutrient has also been shown to eliminate free radicals and protect neurons, which safeguards against cardiovascular disease, cancers and reduces the risk of cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Following are a few ways North Broward home caregivers can boost their senior loved ones’ intake of vitamin D this winter.
Depending on physical location, nutritionists recommend that seniors take advantage of available sunlight around noon. Since not everyone has the convenience or financial means to go south for the winter, seniors might need to spend 30 minutes to two hours outdoors to have direct exposure to the warm rays of the sun each day. The time is extended due to the fact that frigid climates keep people protectively bundled, which means less skin enjoys sun exposure. If your loved one can’t get outside, studies indicate that exposing the skin for a few minutes to the lights of a tanning bed is also an effective means of producing vitamin D.
Dietary alterations are another means of helping seniors to get sufficient quantities of vitamin D. Egg yolks, mackerel, salmon, tuna and other fatty fish are excellent sources of the essential nutrient. Milk, yogurt and other dairy products are all fortified with vitamin D. North Broward, FL, live-in caregivers should check the nutrition labels on cereal boxes, as some brands have also been fortified.
Oral supplementation is probably one of the most common choices during winter because seniors can add vitamin D supplements to their daily medication routine. The National Institutes of Health recommend that adults get at least 600 to 800 International Units daily. The Vitamin D Council recommends that adults get up to 5,000 International Units daily.
Vitamin D is also essential for keeping your loved one in a good mood to stave off the winter blues. Learn more about winter depression and how it can be avoided by calling Home Care Assistance at 954-906-5161 today. We provide flexible elder care North Broward families depend on to help seniors boost both physical and emotional wellbeing in the comfort of home all year round. Don’t forget to schedule a free consultation when you call today.