Should You Start Taking Vitamins as an Older Adult or Is It All Just Hype?

 May 18, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

woman-taking-medication

Vitamins, minerals, and supplements – oh my! Seventy percent of seniors are taking them; but is taking vitamins as an older adult really necessary? After all, a healthy, balanced diet offers seniors necessary nutrients. However, there are deficiencies that would benefit from taking a supplement. Be sure to talk with the physician prior to making any changes, however with their recommendation or approval, consider the following:

Vitamin B12

Deficiencies of vitamin B12 are common in seniors, and even more so for individuals who take specific prescription drugs (particularly metformin or gastric acid inhibitors). With vitamin B12 deficiencies, seniors are prone to developing depression, neuropathy or nerve damage, balance problems, poor memory, anemia, confusion, and dementia.

The NIH recommends 2.4 mcg each day, which can be obtained through a diet rich in clams and fish, meat, poultry, liver, eggs, milk, and fortified cereals. And unlike other vitamins and minerals, even high doses of vitamin B12 haven’t been found to cause harm, according to the NIH.

Calcium

Calcium is vital for preventing breaks and fractures in aging bones. This is particularly true for post-menopausal women, with an astounding fifty percent of those over age 50 breaking a bone as a result of osteoporosis. However, men are also at risk for serious complications from calcium deficiency. For example, hip fractures are more likely to be fatal for men than women.

The very best natural sources for calcium are salmon, kale, leafy greens, broccoli, and dairy products, but most women over age 50 and men over age 70 aren’t getting sufficient calcium from food alone. The NIH’s Office of Dietary Supplements recommends 1,200 mg of calcium daily for women over age 51 and men over age 71, and 1,000 mg each day for men ages 51 – 70.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D and calcium are best friends. They work most effectively when taken together to enhance not only bone health, but the nervous and immune systems and perhaps the heart as well. The best source of vitamin D is sunshine, but aging skin together with the threat of skin cancer can cause roadblocks to getting satisfactory levels.

Recommendations are 15 mcg/600 IU per day up to age 70, and 20 mcg/800 IU per day for anyone over age 71. If vitamin D supplements are advised by a physician, they should always be taken with food for optimal absorption.

Thinking about taking vitamins as an older adult? Let one of At Home Independent Living’s caregivers provide transportation and accompaniment to the doctor’s office to help you find out what supplements would work best for you. Contact us online or at (315) 579-HOME (4663) for more information about how we can help enhance older adult health with professional services for elderly care in Liverpool, NY and the nearby areas.


Top Excuses Alzheimer’s Caregivers Often Make

 May 10, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

_caregiver-hugging-senior-man

“You can make it, but it’s easier if you don’t have to do it alone.” – Betty Ford

No one is an island, and that’s particularly true as an Alzheimer’s caregiver. But even so, many family caregivers falter with regards to asking for or accepting the assistance they need. Because of this, stress is exacerbated as there is little or no time for self-care – a vital feature for any person in a caregiving role. (more…)


Common Caregiver Issues and How to Be a Better Advocate

 May 2, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

daughter-senior-lady-caregiver

Leaving someone you love in someone else’s care is never easy, especially if it’s an older loved one. Whether the aging loved one is at home or a facility, you will have important questions you want answered. You’ll also want to be prepared to advocate for the senior to proactively manage potential problems and to quickly take care of issues that do take place. (more…)


How to Help Senior Parents Who Refuse to Pay for Elderly Care They Need

 April 20, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

Many of today’s seniors were raised during the Great Depression. They lived through a period of time when the nation was pinching pennies and cutting corners. Frugality was embedded in many of them very early on and often remains firmly in place for a lifetime. (more…)


The Benefits of Using Reminiscence Therapy for Dementia

 April 14, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

Memory loss and Alzheimer’s may seem synonymous. However, it’s important to realize that long-term memory frequently remains intact long into the progression of the disease. That is why tapping into those distant memories is an ideal strategy to help a senior with dementia stay engaged in current conversations by connecting to the past. (more…)


Tips for Avoiding Caregiver Depression and Burnout

 April 6, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

From the moment you woke up this morning up until the end of an exhausting day, you have given your all to your older family member. You provided help with showering and dressing, prepared nutritious meals, cleaned the house, all while making sure the person was happily involved in enjoyable activities, made it for their 3:00 hair appointment, and picked up prescriptions and groceries afterwards. And while you are not doing any of these things for a pat on the back, a simple “thank you” would be nice – but is rarely offered. (more…)


How to Make Friends as a Senior Citizen – And Why They’re Important

 March 17, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

group of happy senior ladies

If you’ve ever observed kids on the playground, you know how effortlessly friendships are formed. A small group might be playing tag, and a newcomer rushes over with a breathless, “Can I play?” More often than not, the response is a resounding, “Sure!” and thus – instant friends. (more…)


The Signs of Chemo Brain and What You Can Do About It

 March 10, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

senior man holding head

Short-term memory problems. Confusion. Inability to focus. Could it be Alzheimer’s?

Perhaps; however if you’re a cancer survivor, there is another likely culprit that might be at play: chemotherapy. Known as chemotherapy induced cognitive impairment (CICI) or “chemo brain,” effects including these can last for months and even years post-treatment. (more…)


Why It Might Be Time to Seek Guardianship of Elderly Parents

 March 3, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

adult child with senior mother

In a perfect world, our family interactions would all be positive and helpful. We would handle transitional times smoothly, cooperatively, and without any disagreement. As our parents grew older, it would be a seamless process to satisfy their needs today and their needs in the future. (more…)


The Benefits of Journaling for Family Caregivers

 February 17, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

woman-sitting-journaling

Most of us are jotting down notes all of the time: shopping lists, to-do reminders, appointments, meetings, events…the list goes on and on. For family caregivers, there are additional reasons for writing while managing another person’s life along with their own. (more…)