Whether you’re focusing on your health in the new year or addressing specific health concerns, it’s always a good time to add healthy habits! If you’re looking to add vitamins to your daily routine, you’ll quickly notice that there are enough options to fill an entire pharmacy aisle. Luckily, that means that you are able to find just the right product for you! Everyone’s vitamin needs depend on their age, gender, and other individual factors, which means it is important to discuss any supplements you are considering with your doctor.
At Village Green in Federal Way, WA, we support our residents in aging gracefully in every aspect of their life. From nutrition to exercise, spirituality to hands-on learning opportunities, we understand that every part of a human needs to be nurtured to cultivate wellbeing.
What Kind of Vitamins do Seniors Need?
Older adults need most of the same vitamins that the rest of us do, so it often makes sense to start with a multivitamin. Many, like Geritol or Centrum Silver, are tailor-made for older adults. In general, vitamins designed for older adults include more of the following:
- Calcium- Bone health is important for both senior men and women, though especially for the latter. Some multi-vitamins include calcium and stand-alone supplementation is also popular.
- Vitamin D- Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium and supports additional muscle and nerve function. Older adults’ skin may not convert Vitamin D from the sun as efficiently as it previously did, so supplementation makes good sense.
- Vitamin B-12- Vitamin B-12 is vital for red blood cells, nerves, and neurological health. Older adults may have difficulty absorbing B12 from food. A dietary supplement or fortified foods may be helpful.
- Potassium- Potassium supports strong bones and healthy body tissue of all kinds. Many adults do not get enough dietary potassium and benefit from supplementation.
What are the Best Ways for Seniors to Take Vitamins?
Seniors may have difficulty swallowing traditional vitamins for a variety of reasons. They can be quite large and cumbersome for anyone to horse down! There are many great alternatives to help the medicine go down. Some of our favorite ways for seniors to take their vitamins include:
- Chewable Vitamins- Chewable vitamins have come a long way from chalky cartoon characters. (Although there’s nothing wrong with a little nostalgia if these hit the spot!) Your local pharmacy likely features a variety of chewable options tailored to a wide range of dietary needs. Try gummies or chews. They’re delicious!
- Liquid Vitamins- If your dentition or health conditions make chewing too tough, liquid vitamins can ensure that you’re still getting the nutrition you need. Liquid vitamins are a good choice if you have a significant health condition and are concerned about vomiting your vitamins before you can benefit from them. Liquid vitamins are absorbed a bit faster than pill form.
- Small Vitamins- If you can’t stomach a giant pill but still prefer to swallow your vitamins, you’re in luck! Some vitamins are smaller and easier to swallow. Look for packaging with words such as tiny or petite.
Dietary Supplements for Seniors
- Prebiotics /Probiotics- We are just beginning to understand how gut health impacts other body systems. The gut microbiome changes rapidly in older adulthood, and probiotics can ensure good bacteria keep the upper hand.
- Fiber- Not everyone needs to supplement with fiber. There are many great sources of dietary fiber like whole grains and vegetables. However, seniors are more likely to need additional fiber than their younger counterparts. Mix-ins like Metamucil and products like fiber bars and cookies may help.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids- Found in high-fat fish like salmon and legumes, omega-3 fatty acids support brain health and may boost protection against degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s. Some multivitamins include omega-3 fatty acids, which are usually highlighted in the name or label. Stand-alone supplements are also available.
Pro Tip: If your supplement is oily or leaves an unpleasant aftertaste, store it in the freezer to reduce the taste later.
Healthy Lifestyle Choices for Seniors
A healthy diet is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle! Many people do not require dietary supplements because they consume a balanced and varied diet. A diet rich in proteins, leafy greens, lean proteins, calcium sources like dairy, and seasonal produce will lay an excellent foundation for good health.
It’s also important to get moving and keep moving! There is no substitute for exercise! Walking, stretching, dancing, the activity doesn’t matter as much as its repetition. Choose something that feels good and start small!
Prioritize Your Health at Village Green
Village Green Retirement Community provides vibrant senior living in Federal Way, WA. Our variety of programs supports, services, and opportunities prioritize wellness in every aspect of our residents’ life. We would love to find the best match between our offerings and your needs. We can’t wait to meet you and get started!