Nearly 40 percent of fall-related hospitalizations for adults 65 and over involve hip fractures, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. If your older loved one recently experienced this type of injury, it’s important to take steps to increase the odds of a successful recovery, especially if surgery was necessary. One way to help your loved one who’s recovering from a hip fracture is to boost his or her vitamin D levels.
Increasing Calcium Absorption
Vitamin D is commonly classified as a fat-soluble vitamin, and it’s good for bone and joint health and healing because it helps with the absorption of calcium, a nutrient that promotes new bone tissue growth. What this does is increase bone strength as a fracture (either in the hip joint itself or in a supporting bone) heals, which could contribute to a faster recovery.
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 in-home care 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.
There’s evidence suggesting lower levels of vitamin D can affect the ability to walk for people with hip fractures, but mobility may increase when vitamin D levels are higher. This is beneficial for seniors recovering from fractured hips because one of the goals of treatment and post-surgery recovery is to increase the ability to walk and be safely mobile again.
Making Supporting Muscles Stronger
A group of studies that took place in Canada and other countries found a connection between higher levels of vitamin D and increased muscle strength and function. Having stronger muscles that support the hip can ease direct pressure on the hip joint, and it also reduces the risk of reinjury or issues with healing. Stronger muscles may also speed up recovery by making it easier to participate in and benefit from post-injury or post-surgery physical therapy sessions.
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 at-home care. Barrie families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Helping with Weight Loss
Various studies suggest vitamin D may play a role in weight loss. If excess weight may have contributed to your loved one’s hip fracture, an increase in vitamin D levels may make it easier for him or her to lose weight. Not having to bear as much weight may also speed up recovery by reducing the risk of reinjury as a fractured hip heals.
Providing an Immune System Boost
Recent research suggests a link between vitamin D and optimal immune system function. This matters to seniors because older immune systems are already weakened by age-related changes, and surgery for a fracture places added stress on the immune system. Therefore, being mindful of vitamin D intake could speed up recovery by keeping an older immune system healthy.
Health Canada recommends older adults aim for between 600 and 700 IUs per day of vitamin D. Sunlight is an effective way to get vitamin D, but direct exposure should be limited to about half an hour a day. Food-based sources of this nutrient include:
• Salmon, sardines, and other fish rich in fatty acids
• Egg yolks
• Fortified foods (e.g., certain cereals, orange juice, milk)
• Cheese and other low-fat dairy foods
• Beef liver
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 Barrie, ON, 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. Call Home Care Assistance at 647-970-3803 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.