May 18, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

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 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.

 January 16, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

With over 325 million people residing in the U.S. alone, it’s hard to imagine that senior loneliness could be so widespread. Yet over 50% of seniors live alone, and over a million of them are likely to be chronically lonely. In reality, roughly 50% of seniors researched stated that their main source of companionship is the television. (more…)

 January 8, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

A simple Google search for the word “aging” produces topics such as “coping with aging,” “what you can do about aging,” as well as “the cure to aging.” The pessimistic connotations to growing older are, sadly, so deep-rooted in our culture that it is expected that by 2021, we will be spending over $300 billion in anti-aging merchandise. (more…)

 December 21, 2018 by Dean Bellefeuille

Even though the yuletide season is usually thought of as a time that is joyous, filled with visiting with those who are nearest and dearest and picking out the perfect gifts, for older adults, it can be anything but merry and bright. A combination of lost loved ones, memories of holidays from the past, health struggles and more can impact seniors with feelings of lonesomeness and sadness. (more…)

 December 11, 2018 by Dean Bellefeuille

The holiday season is laden with parties, celebrations, and get-togethers. However, for an aging loved one, holiday activities require a little additional planning and preparation. Follow these holiday tips for Syracuse seniors from At Home Independent Living to be able to ensure fun and relaxed outings with family members of all ages this holiday season. (more…)

 November 6, 2018 by Dean Bellefeuille

While we may envision a Norman Rockwell-worthy Thanksgiving celebration, with the whole family enjoying quality time together and Grandma’s traditional feast, the reality for many families includes something unexpected: a trip to the hospital. In fact, statistics show that E/R visits for the elderly jump an astounding 10% – 20% during the holidays. (more…)

 March 8, 2018 by Dean Bellefeuille

Dorothy had it right when she said, “There’s no place like home,” and 90 percent of seniors agree, according to AARP. The vast majority of older adults prefer to age in place in their own homes as opposed to moving to a nursing home or assisted living facility. But as increased care is needed, how can senior independence be maintained at home? (more…)

 November 24, 2015 by Dean Bellefeuille

Dehydration occurs when a person loses more water than he or she takes in. Sounds simple, but it’s a very serious problem, one that can be particularly dangerous for older adults. Because the mechanisms that regulate thirst, sweat, and heat change as we age, the way we regulate our fluid intake needs to change as well. “It’s a very complicated pattern. Regulation of salt and water gets to be a bit abnormal as we grow older and we don’t perceive thirst as well,” says Dr. David R. Thomas of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at St. Louis University School of Medicine. (more…)

 November 14, 2014 by Dean Bellefeuille

Type 2 diabetes affects one in four Americans who are 65 or older, according to an article in Everyday Health. At Home Independent Living in Syracuse is committed to ensuring the long-term health of our clients, and we believe that education for clients and family members about potential risk factors is an important part of this education. This is just one of many reasons why At Home Independent Living is one of the top rated home care companies in Syracuse, New York. (more…)