Seniors can quickly develop a vitamin D deficiency and family caregivers wouldn’t always notice. The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are subtle, and many people aren’t even sure what to look for. When aging adults go undiagnosed with vitamin D deficiency, however, it can be very damaging to their health. The good news is that there are many ways to prevent or counteract vitamin D deficiency in elderly adults. Once family caregivers recognize the symptoms, they can arrange to visit a physician.
Here are some frequently asked question about vitamin D deficiency in aging adults:
Q: Why is vitamin D so important?
A: Vitamin D affects many areas of the body, especially the nervous system and the brain. It builds strong bones, helps calcium in the bloodstream, fights infection, boosts the immune system and strengthens muscles. With a deficiency, all these body functions struggle to perform the way they should.
Q: Where can people obtain vitamin D?
A: Believe it or not, vitamin D is produced within the human body when UVB rays from the sun trigger production in the skin. When bare skin is exposed to the rays, vitamin D production begins. Some foods also contain vitamin D, including oily fish and egg yolks. To make it easier for people to get vitamin D, some manufacturers include it in certain foods, like milk, juice and cereal.
Q: What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency in seniors?
A: The symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency can be subtle, especially in elderly adults because they mimic many other age-related conditions. Common symptoms include fatigue, recurring colds, slow healing wounds, muscle and bone pain, gum disease and frequently broken bones.
Q: What do doctors recommend as treatment for vitamin D deficiency?
A: When the body is deficient of vitamin D, doctors want elderly adults to start getting more of it via several different methods. They may recommend vitamin supplements to help boost the amounts. Doctors will also recommend that the elderly person eat more foods that contain vitamin D. Because more than 80 percent of vitamin D in the body is due to sunlight exposure, doctors will talk to family caregivers about getting their aging loved one outside a little more often.
Q: How can family caregivers prevent vitamin D deficiency in aging relatives?
A: One of the best ways to ensure that an elderly adult doesn’t develop a vitamin D deficiency is to hire an elder care provider. The elder care provider can ensure the senior has plenty of opportunity to spend time in the sun, from a short walk to a south- or west-facing porch or patio. Elder care providers are also better able to provide healthy meals that include vitamin D-enriched food and fortified foods.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Elder Care Services in Windsor CA, call At Your Service Home Care. Call today! (707) 573-1003
She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.
Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.
Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.
Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.
She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.
Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.
Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.