Health Supplements that Seniors Need

Health Supplements that Seniors Need

Senior citizens need supplements just as much as anyone else. Age plays a factor in the types of supplements needed which is why there are different versions of multivitamins. Chronic health problems can also affect the type of vitamins needed, though as a general rule the following vitamins are useful for all seniors.

Vitamin B12 is essential for cellular function. The brain and spinal cord use this vitamin every day and it is common to see B12 deficiencies in the elderly. Memory loss is one problem seen in the elderly and people have accepted this as a fact of aging. Keeping the levels of B12 in the body up can combat loss of memory. Energy can be boosted by incorporating the vitamin into the daily routine.

Smokers or ex-smokers are especially vulnerable to cell damage – older smokers should increase their intake of vitamin C to help repair damage from free radicals. Lowered energy is very common in seniors, C can help boost the energy when combined with B12 and a proper diet. Skin tone may be helped as C works to help restore collagen.

Probably the most important vitamins for any senior would be the combination of vitamin D and calcium. Bone density naturally drops during the aging process. Vitamin D is responsible for helping the body utilize calcium for building bones and teeth which prevents osteoporosis. Further research has shown vitamin D has more effects in the body which many people were not aware of. There are links between vitamin D, cholesterol levels, multiple sclerosis, Lupus, and nerve health.

Normal vision and organ function is dependent on receiving enough vitamin A. Not many people are deficient in this vitamin, but a health diet with colorful foods is important to prevent deficiency. Dark greens, deep orange, and fortified foods carry vitamin A in the quantities needed for healthy seniors.

However as good as our recommendations may be, do ask your primary physician before taking any supplements!

Simple Stretching Techniques for the Elderly

Simple Stretching Techniques for the Elderly

Doctors have been saying it for years – get your exercise. Senior citizens that get exercise are generally healthier and stronger than their friends who do not. Some research has pointed to a younger feeling body, up to ten years younger! Stretching increases blood flow which may improve tissue elasticity and muscle fiber strength.

It’s easy to get stretches in, even for people that are unable to walk for long distances. Stretching is simple and can keep muscles in good shape. Stretching can help prevent injuries associated with spastic muscles and reduce the risk of contractures. Muscles that freeze into position are known as contractures, a painful, permanent condition.

Elderly folks can do foot and calf stretches while holding on to the back of a strong, well balanced chair. The senior should have a good grip and lift their body up and down with their feet – basically standing on tip-toe. The helps stretch and strengthen the feet and calves.

Another super easy stretching exercise is the back stretch. Most people are shocked to find that simply standing with their feet spread apart shoulder-length and twisting can flex the back muscles. Twist to one side with the spine held straight and hold for five seconds. Repeat with the other side. Do this ten times each day for a healthy back.

Overhead reaches are good to start before upper mobility degenerates. Lifting the arms and reaching as high as possible helps the arm muscles stay flexible, improves joint functions, and can relieve nerve pressure. One major complaint among the elderly is loss of shoulder and arm motion. Reaching as high as possible can help prevent this loss, keeping the need for reaching and grabbing aides at bay.