How To Reduce the Risk of B-12 Deficiency in the Elderly

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.
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 home care in Prescott. Our professional caregivers are available around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Here are a few ways to reduce the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency in seniors.

Get Tested

One of the reasons several B12 deficiencies go 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 once 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.
Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Prescott, AZ, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

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 carried out 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 doctor 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 once every few weeks. These shots work almost instantaneously, and they give doctors control over exactly how much B12 is administered into a person’s system. Within just a few hours of administering these shots, many seniors feel a wide variety of benefits such as higher energy levels and a healthier appetite.

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.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to dementia and other types of cognitive diseases. Professional caregivers can help seniors delay the onset of memory loss. For dementia care Prescott, AZ, families can count on, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our compassionate caregivers use revolutionary memory care programs to help seniors stave off the progression of dementia, and they can also assist with a wide variety of important everyday tasks, including bathing, grooming, exercise, and cooking. To hire a dedicated caregiver for your aging loved one, get in touch with us at 928-771-0105 today.
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