Optimizing Elderly Nutrition: A Guide to the Right Dietary Supplements

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should aging adults take dietary supplements arlington va

Did you know that approximately half of all seniors over age 65 take a daily multivitamin along with other various supplements? While many seniors feel the need to add supplements to their diets as they age, recent research suggests it may not be necessary. Here’s some information about how to add the right vitamins to a senior loved one’s diet in the right way. 

Vitamins in the Diet

Many vitamins and minerals taken in supplement form never reach the bloodstream and are eliminated by the body. In fact, most experts on nutrition agree the body better uses nutrients when they’re obtained through the foods in which they naturally occur. However, there are some times when seniors may need to take supplements if they can’t get enough of specific nutrients in their diets. 

Some seniors have a difficult time shopping for groceries and preparing healthy meals, which can put them at greater risk for developing nutritional deficiencies. Older adults who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior care. Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Calcium & Vitamin D

Older adults tend to need higher levels of calcium and vitamin D, and most dairy products are fortified with them. Calcium is essential for healthy bone regeneration, and vitamin D aids the body in the absorption of calcium. If seniors have problems with lactose intolerance or have a distaste for dairy, a supplement may need to be taken. 

Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care service. Arlington families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia.

Vitamin B12

A nutrient that’s necessary for effective brain function and blood cell production, vitamin B12 is found readily in animal products and fortified foods. Deficiencies can cause anemia and an altered mental state. Seniors, especially vegetarians, may need to take supplements if they can’t get a sufficient amount of vitamin B12 in their diets. 


As adults age, their digestive systems can slow down considerably and increase the need for fiber in their diets to facilitate regular bowel movements. Seniors need to be careful not to take in excessive fiber because it can cause malabsorption of nutrients. Instead of supplements, a safer way to take in fiber is by eating foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. 

Helping older adults get the nutrients they need can be challenging. For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional home care. Arlington, VA, Assisting Hands Home Care is a trusted name in senior home care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (703) 997-4334.