Here’s how vitamin D can help your parents regain mobility during hip fracture recovery

Updated on: 18 March 2020, 11:10 am IST

Our ageing parents are often susceptible to experience reduced mobility during hip fracture. Here’s how Vitamin D can help them regain it.

IANS
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senior health check-ups
Want to enjoy morning walks with your ageing parents again? It’s time to check their Vitamin D levels. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Does the experience of enjoying a walk with your ageing parents seems like a dream? With age our parents become more susceptible to falling and hurting their fragile bones. Vitamin D shall ensure their bone health. In your efforts to nourishing them with adequate amounts of Vitamin D, you can help them regain their mobility.    

Older adults who are not vitamin D deficient have a better chance of walking after hip fracture surgery, say researchers suggesting that taking 800 international units (IU), equivalent to 20 micrograms of the vitamin daily may prevent deficiency.

Vitamin D is important for bone health, and people get it through some foods, exposure to the sun and vitamin pills.

“This matters because vitamin D deficiency and malnutrition are common disorders in elderly patients with hip fractures and often occur together since both are complications of poor nutrition,” said study senior author Sue Shapses, Professor at the Rutger University in the US.

It’s time to take extra care of your parents. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

A broken hip – among the most serious fall injuries – is hard to recover from, with many people unable to live on their own afterward.

Is it your mom or your dad who is likely to experience more hip fractures?
In the US, more than 300,000 people 65 or older are hospitalized for hip fractures annually and falling causes more than 95 % of these types of fractures.

Women fall more frequently than men, experiencing three-quarters of hip fractures, and the number of fractures is likely to rise as the population ages, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

How does vitamin D deficiency impact your parent’s ability to move?
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition said that regaining mobility after a hip fracture is important for a full recovery and to reduce the risk of death. But vitamin D deficiency is associated with reduced mobility after surgery to repair a hip fracture.

The multi-site study of patients 65 or older in the US and Canada examined the influence of vitamin D levels in blood serum and nutrition on mobility.

The study focused on death rate or inability to walk 10 feet (or across a room) without someone’s help after surgery.

The findings showed that vitamin D levels greater than 12 nanograms per milliliter (12 parts per billion) in blood serum are associated with a higher rate of walking at 30 and 60 days after hip fracture surgery.

How to take care of ageing parents
Your parents are ageing and you must pay attention to their health needs. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

While poor nutrition is associated with reduced mobility 30 days after surgery, that factor was not statistically significant.

Still, in patients with high levels of parathyroid hormone, which leads to high levels of calcium in the blood, mobility was reduced if their nutritional status was poor.

Also, read: Coronavirus is now a pandemic and unfortunately your parents are at a high risk

According to the researchers, previous studies have shown that taking 800 IU of vitamin D a day can prevent falling and fractures.

So ladies, it’s time you start taking care of your parent’s Vitamin D levels after consulting a professional. The pleasure of enjoying regular long walks with them is no longer a dream since Vitamin D shall ensure their optimum bone health. It shall also prevent them from the further possibility of falling and experiencing terrible hip fractures.

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