The winter months are almost here and while many are looking forward to the upcoming holidays and enjoy getting snow, there is another concern: a lack of Vitamin D. Due to shorter days and therefore, less time in the sun, it’s no wonder that many older adults struggle with getting enough Vitamin D into their systems. If you are a resident of the senior living apartments in Macomb, this is something you will want to remedy.
Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients that your body needs, especially as you get older. One of the primary functions of Vitamin D is that it helps with calcium absorption, leading to stronger bones and an improved immune system. However, that’s not all! Continue reading to learn all about the health benefits that Vitamin D has for seniors as well as some information about our senior apartments.
5 Ways Vitamin D Can Improve Senior Health
1.) Build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis.
For seniors, and senior women especially, osteoporosis is a major concern. This is because as you age, your bones can become less dense and more brittle. Vitamin D promotes bone growth, as calcium needs Vitamin D in order to properly do its job. Falls are the number one cause of accidental death among senior citizens, and having strong bones could mean the difference between life and death in these types of situations. If you are concerned about developing osteoporosis or are concerned about your fall risk, speak with your doctor about how you can get more Vitamin D.
2.) Improve your overall immune system.
On the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic and moving into cold and flu season, bolstering your immune system should be a high priority. Vitamin D has been proven to strengthen your immune system and help you fight off infections and viruses, including various types of influenza as well as the human coronavirus. If you know that you have a Vitamin D deficiency, or you are concerned about your immune system, consider adding a weekly or even daily supplement of Vitamin D.
3.) Bolster your oral health.
If Vitamin D helps strengthen bones then it is no wonder that it can also help with your oral health given that teeth are simply bones that exist on the outside. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in preventing tooth decay and can even decrease your risk of developing gum disease. This is due partly because Vitamin D works as an anti-inflammatory agent as well as its ability to promote the production of antimicrobial peptides. When working together, both of these factors greatly contribute to improved oral health.
4.) Can help to lower blood pressure.
Are you concerned about your high blood pressure? While there can be many causes of hypertension, including obesity, a history of heart disease, and elevated stress levels, it might also be because you have a Vitamin D deficiency. If you have tried other measures to lower your blood pressure to no avail, it might be time to speak with your family doctor about starting a Vitamin D supplement. As a resident of senior living apartments in Macomb, we want you to live your healthiest, fullest life free of hypertension and high blood pressure!
5.) Supports weight management.
For many seniors, obesity can be a major concern, especially for those with limited mobility. However, Vitamin D can actually play a huge role in weight management and helping older adults get back on track. In one 2015 study, 400 participants who were overweight were all put on a low calorie diet and then divided into three groups. The first group took no Vitamin D supplements while the second group took 25,000 international units (IU) and the third took 100,000 IU of Vitamin D per month. At the end of the six month study, those that took Vitamin D had seen a greater amount of weight lost as well as more inches decreased from their waistline.
Problems Caused From a Vitamin D Deficiency
Seniors are at an elevated risk for a Vitamin D deficiency for many reasons. First of all, it is because with age, seniors tend to have a decreased dietary intake. Their hunger and thirst both naturally diminish and this can lead to an overall lack of proper nutrition. The other reason is that seniors tend to spend a lot of time indoors, especially in the winter. Sunshine is an excellent natural source of Vitamin D, though frigid temperatures and high snow accumulation tends to push older adults indoors, especially while living at the senior apartments in Macomb.
So what does a Vitamin D deficiency look like? Here are a few factors that you should concerned about:
Mood Swings or Changes in Behavior
There have been many studies done that link a lack of Vitamin D to particular mental health disorders, including Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression, and anxiety. Seniors who lack this vital nutrient are more likely to feel sad, depressed, and have low energy or sleep all the time. In fact, a Vitamin D deficiency might also play a huge role in cognitive decline and an increased risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Weakened Bones and Muscles
As discussed above, Vitamin D is very important for building both bone and muscle strength. These two combined help to prevent falls, strengthen the body, and can improve one’s overall quality of life. If you are concerned about mobility issues or have an increased risk of falling, adding more calcium and Vitamin D to your diet could go a long way.
While it is no secret that seniors need more rest than a younger adult, you should not feel lethargic or tired all the time. These feelings could be caused by a lack of proper nutrition, leading to stiff joints, pained muscles, and exhaustion. If you can’t get out into the sunshine during the winter and eat a lack of fortified foods, you likely need to supplement your diet with various vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin D.
Senior Living Apartments in Macomb
Here at Oakleigh, we understand that diet and exercise are important factors in increasing a senior’s Vitamin D and improving their health and well-being. That is why we serve delicious and nutritious foods to our residents each and every day. If you are interested in moving to the senior living apartments in Macomb, be sure to contact us today and schedule an appointment time to take a tour!