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The Most Important Nutrients for Aging Adults

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Loss of appetite is a common occurrence in the elderly due to health issues, prescription medications, and aging, which makes it important for them to eat nutrient-dense foods. While it is beneficial for your senior loved one to eat a well-rounded diet, there are some nutrients that are especially helpful for aging adults. Here are a few essential nutrients your elderly loved one needs.

Calcium

Calcium is a vital nutrient that builds and maintains strong bones. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the average man over the age of 65 only ingests 600 milligrams of calcium a day, while women ingest 480 milligrams on average. The National Institutes of Health recommend older adults to get 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day. When insufficient calcium is included in the diet or taken as a supplement, the body begins to leach it from the bones, making them more fragile. Yogurt, milk, and cottage cheese are foods that are high in calcium.

Fragile bones are just one of the many age-related conditions older adults are susceptible to. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Philadelphia families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Vitamin B12

Though people of all ages need vitamin B12, it’s especially important for the elderly. Vitamin B12 facilitates the creation of red blood cells, breaks glucose down into energy, and is a key element in myelin, which is the protective coating that surrounds brain cells. Without enough vitamin B12, your loved one’s cognitive and circulatory health could decrease. Many seniors are deficient in B12 because it is difficult for their bodies to absorb it from food. Fish, eggs, red meat, and poultry are all high in the vitamin. If food isn’t enough, talk with the doctor about including a supplement in your loved one’s diet.

Vitamin D

For your loved one’s body to properly absorb calcium, he or she needs to get the proper amount of vitamin D in the diet. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium to prevent osteoporosis from occurring. Not getting enough vitamin D may also contribute to heart disease and autoimmune disorders. A study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that aging adults who were deficient in vitamin D had an increase in biomarkers linked to cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. Vitamin D doesn’t occur naturally in many foods, and seniors have a difficult time absorbing it from the sun. Make sure your loved one eats foods that have been fortified with vitamin D.

Some seniors need help switching to nutritious meals and making other healthy lifestyle choices. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Philadelphia respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. 

Potassium

Potassium is important for several functions in the human body. The nutrient triggers the heart to pump properly, helps nerves and muscles work smoothly, assists in the regulation of blood pressure, and aids the kidneys in blood filtration. Most fruits and vegetables are full of potassium. Potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, bananas, and avocados are especially high in the mineral.

Nutritional deficiencies can lead to an array of health issues in aging adults. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Philadelphia senior home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your elderly loved one, give us a call at (215) 645.4663 or (484) 643.4663 today.

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