Vitamin D3: Benefits, Dosage, and Sources for Seniors

Posted by Enlivant support center on July 15, 2022

Summer is here, which means warm weather and tons of sunshine. Seniors should try to spend as much time outdoors as possible, and one of the crucial reasons is to soak up natural vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency in seniors is quite common and can result in serious health consequences. While all vitamins are important, vitamin D is arguably one of the most vital, especially for seniors. Not only is it responsible for keeping bones strong and healthy, but research indicates that vitamin D may help reduce muscle weakness, hip fractures, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, arthritis and poor general health in seniors. 

Learn more about this powerful vitamin to ensure your senior loved one is getting the vitamin D they need to stay healthy! 

Why Seniors are Deficient

Seniors are vitamin D deficient for multiple reasons. For one, they usually spend more time indoors. They also have reduced skin thickness, which is a natural part of the aging process. Seniors typically don't eat enough vitamin D-rich foods. And lastly, their bodies simply don't process D as efficiently anymore.

Sources of Vitamin D

Seniors should get as much sunshine as possible! Our bodies naturally produce vitamin D when we're exposed to the sun. Gardening, fishing, or taking a 15-minute walk are all great options to get outdoors and connect with others, too.

While the best way to get vitamin D is through sunlight, there are other ways to get it through food. Foods that are high in vitamin D are fish, beef liver, egg yolks, and cheese. Fortified foods are also high in vitamin D, such as milk, cereal, and yogurt. Lastly, fatty fishes are extremely good sources too, such as tuna, salmon, and king mackerel. 

Seniors who get too little vitamin D can and should take supplements. The recommended supplement form is D3, which is the kind your body makes from sunlight, and the recommended dosage for seniors is 800 IU a day. It's always a good idea to consult a doctor before implementing a new supplement into your senior loved one's routine.

On the Bright Side

For seniors who have a deficiency, it's an easy fix. By making a few edits to diet, spending more time outdoors, and incorporating taking a supplement, your loved one will boost their vitamin D and enjoy the benefits of stronger, healthier bones! Increased mood is always an added bonus, too.

Enlivant communities offer a number of activities for your loved one to enjoy. Spending time outdoors helps to maintain healthy levels of vitamin D, directly from the sun. Discover fun outdoor activity ideas with Enlivant!