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Making Sure Older Adults Get Enough Vitamin B12

Seniors are at a higher risk of developing nutritional deficiencies. Vitamin B12 deficiencies usually occur with age due to decreasing absorption by the digestive system. Combined with dietary changes or decreased food intake, a senior can become more susceptible to a vitamin B12 deficiency. Philadelphia home care experts list a few ways seniors can increase their intake of vitamin B12.

Eat More Animal Products

One of the most common health concerns vegans face is a B12 deficiency. This is because most people get B12 from animal products such as milk, cheese, chicken, red meat, and eggs. Your senior loved one is likely to have low levels of B12 and should try to increase the amount of meat and dairy products he or she eats every day to enhance some key bodily functions, including the creation of red blood cells.

Add Fortified Grain to the Diet

Vitamin B12 can be found in a number of fortified foods. Switching fatty meat products for fortified grains is an excellent way to get more B12 in the diet. Most of these grain-based products are baked with different forms of nutritional yeast, which contains B12.

Take Vegan B12 Supplements

A minor B12 deficiency can create a wide variety of secondary health complications, including dry skin, a weakened immune system, vision loss, muscle weakness, depression, memory loss, and gastrointestinal distress. Seniors who are planning on becoming vegans should consider taking a B12 supplement so they are less likely to experience these issues. Instead of using animal-based gelatin to create B12, vegan supplements generally use various types of algae.

Limit Alcohol Intake

Just because your loved one is consuming the correct amount of B12 every day does not mean his or her body is absorbing it. Seniors who have damaged digestive tracts because of heavy drinking might not be able to produce the acids needed to break down B12. The long-term use of strong antacids can have a similar effect on a senior’s digestive tract. Anyone who uses antacids should speak with a doctor about taking a daily B12 supplement.

While these tips can help your loved one increase his or her intake of B12, you can contact Home Care Assistance for more tips on preventing deficiencies for seniors. We provide respite and live-in care Philadelphia families can count on. In addition to preparing nutritious meals, our caregivers can also help your loved one with other household chores. Call (215) 645.4663 or (484) 643.4663 to speak with a qualified Care Manager about our senior care plans and how they can be tailored to meet your loved one’s unique needs.