Vitamin D helps maintain normal levels of calcium in your blood. It does this by helping your intestines absorb calcium from the foods we eat.
If long-term care residents are not getting enough calcium from their diet then vitamin D will pull calcium from their bones to keep their blood calcium levels constant. Without an adequate intake of vitamin D, their bodies won’t absorb enough calcium. Over the long run this will lead to thinner bones and potential fractures.
The Bottom Line About Vitamin D for Long Term Care
More about Vitamin D for Long-Term Care
Our key recommendations…Our key recommendations for improved osteoporosis and fracture prevention outcomes in older adults at risk for osteoporosis and fractures:
- Older adults should take 1000-2000 IU of Vitamin D3 supplements daily.
- Older adults should eat foods rich in calcium and consume an equivalent of 1200mg of calcium daily from their diet.
- Older adults unable to consume sufficient amounts of calcium from their diet, should take a maximum of 500mg of elemental calcium supplements daily.
- Older adults who have osteoporosis, have had a previous fracture or are at high risk of sustaining a fracture from a fall should consider being treated with osteoporosis medications.
- Older adults who have osteoporosis, have had a previous fracture or are at high risk of sustaining a fracture from a fall AND who are mobile, who cannot safely self-transfer, have fallen, and wander due to dementia should wear hip protectors.
- Older adults should participate in weight bearing cardiovascular exercise, muscle strengthening, and exercises that challenge balance.