Winter can take a mental and physical toll on people over 65 because it is harder to get sufficient vitamin D, which is crucial to maintaining overall health. Grand Rapids senior home care professionals have put together a list of a few easy ways your senior loved one can acquire the sunshine vitamin during the coldest months.
1. Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin D
Salmon offers a large amount of vitamin D, with over 100 IU per ounce, and it is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect brain health. Other foods rich in vitamin D include mushrooms, oysters (just 6 oysters have more than 60 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin D), eggs, and cheese.
2. Get Sunlight
Although it is more difficult to get vitamin D from the sun during the winter months, even brief periods of sun exposure can be beneficial. If possible, your loved one should plan short trips to warmer, sunnier states during the winter. At the very least, he or she should try to get outside, even for 10 or 15 minutes a few times a week when the sky is clear and the sun is out.
3. Sit Under a Vitamin D Lamp
Not to be confused with tanning beds, vitamin D lamps provide similar benefits without the cancer risk. There is currently one FDA-approved vitamin D lamp on the market called the Sperti, which can allegedly boost vitamin D levels with short sessions just a few times a week. Though this lamp is expensive, it may be a good alternative for seniors who live in climates where going outside is less desirable in the winter.
4. Take a Supplement
If all else fails, your loved one can take a vitamin D supplement. There are dozens of supplements on the market, so be sure to do some research and always check with a doctor about the dosage your loved one should take. Your loved one might also want to test a few different brands because everybody responds differently to vitamin D, and he or she might experience some side effects.
If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D or other crucial nutrients, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our dedicated caregivers can provide medication reminders, prepare nutritious meals and snacks, and help with a wide array of other important tasks. In addition to respite and live-in care, we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s home care Grand Rapids seniors can count on. For more information on our in-home care services, please call 616-243-0835 to speak with a friendly Care Manager.