How to Prevent B12 Deficiency in Older Adults

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Tips to Prevent B12 Deficiency in Older Adults in Tampa Bay, FL

B12 deficiency can result in a variety of health conditions, including mood swings, general lethargy, insomnia, a loss of appetite, and vision problems. While this vitamin is found in several foods, seniors often face difficulty in properly digesting these foods. However, with a few lifestyle changes, most aging adults can prevent B12 deficiencies. Here are a few ways to reduce the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency in seniors.

Get Tested

One of the reasons B12 deficiency goes undiagnosed in seniors is because the symptoms are often similar to other age-related issues. This is why seniors should be tested for major nutritional deficiencies every few years. You should also consider having your loved one tested for vitamin deficiencies if he or she exhibits warning signs such as numbness, tingling, a loss of appetite, constipation, cognitive decline, heart palpitations, or pale skin.

Eat More Animal Products

B12 deficiencies are fairly common among seniors who don’t eat animal products because few vegan ingredients contain this vitamin. If your loved one has a B12 deficiency, you should try out different animal products to see if it helps with his or her condition. Even eating fresh seafood just a few days a week should provide a senior with enough B12. You can also add B12-rich snacks, such as hard-boiled eggs, canned tuna, and chicken wraps, to your loved one’s diet.

If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care. Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Take a Multivitamin

Multivitamins are designed for very specific age groups depending on what nutrients they contain. Unlike multivitamins for younger adults, senior multivitamins generally have high doses of vitamins B6 and B12. These products will be beneficial if your loved one has had any surgeries performed on his or her stomach or intestines. Many weight loss procedures reduce the efficiency of the digestive tract and make it much more difficult to absorb nutrients.

Research Medications

Different medications will have an impact on how well a senior absorbs nutrients such as vitamin B12. Digestive issues are common among those who take diabetic medications and other drugs that affect the production of stomach acid. Seniors with B12 deficiency should speak with their doctors about altering their medications or trying alternative treatment options. You should take a look at your loved one’s over-the-counter medications to see if they might be impacting his or her digestive system.

Get B12 Shots

Seniors who have difficulty remembering to take their B12 supplements might benefit from scheduling B12 shots every few weeks. These shots work almost instantaneously, and they give a doctor control over exactly how much B12 is administered into a person’s system. Within just a few hours of receiving these shots, many seniors feel a wide variety of benefits, such as higher energy levels and a healthier appetite.

Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Clearwater, FL, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.

Quit Smoking

Smokers have much higher rates of nutritional deficiencies. They also tend to have poor dietary habits, and their bodies must also send additional resources to the cells that are being damaged by the tobacco products. A 2004 study published in the Nutrition Journal found smokers are almost twice as likely to be deficient in vitamins A, B, C, and D.

If your loved one finds it challenging to get the necessary amount of vitamins and nutrients every day, consider hiring a trained professional caregiver to help. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of homecare. Clearwater families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. To learn about our premier in-home care plans and how they can help your loved one, give us a call at (727) 330-7862 today. 

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