How Vitamin D Can Speed Recovery in Older Adults with Hip Fractures

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How Vitamin D Can Speed Recovery in Older Adults with Hip Fractures in Montgomery, AL

Statistics suggest approximately 300,000 older adults are hospitalized each year after experiencing hip fractures. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports women represent up to 75 percent of those with hip fractures. As the baby boomer generation ages, these numbers are likely to rise. Recent studies indicate vitamin D deficiencies contribute to falls and hip fractures and impede recovery. Thus, ensuring a senior loved one acquires sufficient levels of vitamin D can boost overall health and aid in the recovery process.

Boosts Post-Fracture Mobility 

To recover from hip fractures and subsequent surgery, seniors must be able to regain mobility. Researchers from Rutgers University–New Brunswick and scientists from Canada evaluated the correlation between vitamin D levels and hip fracture recovery. Their findings appeared in an article published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. During the course of the study, the scientists learned seniors with blood levels of vitamin D higher than 12 parts per billion were better able to walk one to two months after surgery. On the other hand, low levels of vitamin D were associated with poorer recoveries. 

A professional caregiver can prepare nutritious meals and monitor your loved one for complications while your parent recovers from an injury or surgery. The type of home care service seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time.

Prevents Fractures

Up to 33 percent of seniors fall each year. Approximately 10 percent of falls are attributed to spontaneous fractures. Spontaneous fractures occur when fragile bones can no longer support the weight of the body. Under the stress, a hip fracture may occur, which leads to imbalance and falling. Researchers from Rutgers University performed a study that indicated if seniors increased their vitamin D intake, they were less likely to experience spontaneous fractures, falls, and hip fractures. 

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional elder care. Montgomery families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Aids in Calcium Absorption

Vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb calcium, which is needed for healthy bone density and the healing process. To prevent a vitamin D deficiency, older adults are advised to get 800 international units (IU) of the vitamin daily. Exposing bare skin to direct sunlight is an effective means of stimulating the body to produce the vitamin. For seniors who live in regions that don’t have sufficient sunlight or those who aren’t able to spend time outdoors, oral supplementation remains an alternative.

Along with direct sunlight, seniors can acquire vitamin D from a variety of foods rich in the nutrient:

• One can of tuna provides 458 IU of vitamin D
• Half of a salmon filet provides 1035 IU
• One teaspoon of cod liver oil provides 450 IU
• One trout filet offers 540 IU

Certain medications can lead to vitamin D deficiency because they activate the P450 enzyme in the liver, which deactivates the nutrient. Older adults taking such medications are advised to also take oral vitamin D supplements. The list of vitamin D-reducing medications seniors might take include:

• Carbamazepine – used to prevent seizures, migraines, and neuralgia
• Oxcarbazepine – used to prevent seizures or stabilize mood
• Phenytoin or phenobarbital – used to prevent seizures 

Aging adults with hip fractures may need around-the-clock care while they heal at home. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional 24-hour care Montgomery, AL, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (334) 593-3988 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.

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