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Most Common Nutritional Deficiencies Among Seniors

By Melissa Hill, 9:00 am on

Medication interactions, a reduced appetite, and difficulty preparing meals are just a few reasons why a senior may experience a vitamin deficiency. Those with digestive disorders may also be unable to properly absorb and convert important vitamins and minerals, even when they eat a well-balanced diet. To prevent health complications due to a nutritional deficiency, seniors and their at-home caregivers should be aware of the following deficiencies that are common among older adults.

Vitamin B12

This vitamin is essential for proper brain functioning and has an impact throughout a person’s body including in the nerves and blood cells. When a person becomes deficient, he or she may experience confusion, tingling in the hands or feet, and develop anemia. Those who are severely deficient may even develop symptoms of dementia.

Vitamin C

Citrus fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C. However, many older adults need to take a supplement, and seniors who smoke are most at risk for this deficiency. Swollen gums, slow wound healing, and lethargy are a few symptoms someone with this deficiency may experience.

Folic Acid

This vitamin is so essential to healthy body functioning that it is added to fortified cereals and bread. It can also be found in leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits. When a senior is deficient, he or she may experience cognitive changes such as memory loss. A deficiency also raises the risk for serious health conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Vitamin D

A lack of sun exposure due to less time outdoors or wearing sunscreen raises the risk of this nutritional deficiency. Weakened bones, fatigue and muscular weakness are a few signs that a person may not have enough vitamin D in their body. Supplements combined with brief exposure to sunlight are often given to seniors who need a boost to their vitamin D levels.

Some seniors have a hard time grocery shopping and preparing healthy meals, which can put them at a greater risk for developing nutritional deficiencies. Find the help and support your loved one needs to maintain overall health through Home Care Assistance in Oklahoma. Our friendly and experienced caregivers can help promote your aging relative’s mental, emotional, and physical health in the comfort of his or her home. To learn more about how our care services can help, call 405-285-4191. We are available 24/7 and look forward to hearing from you.