The body changes as we age – there’s no getting around it! Here are the most important vitamins and supplements that seniors might need, from our assisted living community in South Jersey. As always, be sure to check with your doctor first before you start taking anything new!
Why do Seniors Often Need Vitamins and Supplements?
Ideally, we’d get all of our necessary vitamins and nutrients from plenty of fresh food in a balanced, nutritious diet, but that’s not always achievable for seniors. In fact, the most common reasons why seniors may need supplements to stay healthy include:
- Reduced exposure to sunlight, leading to a lack of vitamin D
- Bones becoming more brittle with age
- Appetite loss due to medication, illness, or aging
- Medications flushing out vitamins and minerals before they can be absorbed fully
- Medical conditions suppressing the body’s immune system or ability to absorb vitamins
- Not cooking or eating a balanced diet as they age
- Bodies becoming less efficient at absorbing vitamins due to age
What vitamins do seniors typically need?
Again, always check with your doctor before taking supplements – this will make sure they don’t interfere with medical conditions or medications, and that they are the right ones your loved one needs in the right concentration. With that said, the following supplements are usually at the top of the list:
- B Vitamins – B12, B6, and B9 vitamins are very important for nerve and blood cell health, as well as supporting brain health. Good sources other than supplements are dairy products, eggs, fish, and leafy greens such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and beans.
- Calcium – This helps keep bones strong and teeth healthy, and is especially important for older seniors and seniors with bone density conditions. It’s also found in dairy products, dark leafy greens, and calcium-fortified cereals.
- Vitamin D – Another great supplement for bone health is vitamin D, which also helps reduce risks of diabetes, heart disease, and inflammation. You can also find it in fortified cereals, dairy products, and fatty fish like tuna and salmon. To activate this vitamin, it’s important to expose your skin to gentle morning or afternoon sunlight for an hour or so each day.
- Magnesium – This mineral is important for nerve and muscle health, as well as supporting the immune system. Magnesium also supports muscle recovery during physical therapy and fosters a healthy heart rhythm. There’s lots of magnesium in whole grains, dark leafy greens, avocados, lentils, and nuts.
- Potassium – This is a very important supplement because we don’t produce it naturally in our bodies. It supports nerve function, energy levels, brain function, and healthy heart rhythms, and without it we can feel constipated, fatigued, have muscle spasms, and can experience heart palpitations. Good foods with potassium include bananas, avocados, beets, butternut, acorn squash, and apricots.
At UMC at The Shores, a part of the United Methodist Communities network, we offer a welcoming community for seniors of all levels of independence – and we also have a dedicated memory care program for elderly residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia conditions.
We aim to create a warm, active community where seniors get the support that they need to live an abundant life, from well-appointed apartment-style homes and attractive grounds to a vibrant social calendar. We also have a wonderful community dining space preparing healthy, delicious meals! Contact us today to chat more about assisted living in Cape May County, or visit our website at https://umcommunities.org/theshores/
This blog was originally published at https://umcommunities.org/theshores/blog/the-best-vitamins-for-seniors/