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How Much Calcium Should Seniors Take?

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As our loved ones age, it becomes increasingly important for us to prioritize their well-being and provide the care they deserve. One essential component of senior health is proper calcium intake. Calcium is not just crucial for building and maintaining strong bones—it also plays a vital role in the overall function of the body. 

The recommended daily intake of calcium for adults over 50 is 1,000–1,200 mg. This can be achieved through a combination of dietary sources and supplements. However, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional to determine the right amount for yourself or your loved one. 

If you’re concerned about your loved one’s nutritional intake, that’s just one more thing a senior living community can help with. In addition to engaging amenities and family resources, our community provides delicious dining options that suit our residents’ tastes while prioritizing their health, wellness, and happiness. 

Amongst nutritious meals, see how our services and amenities at Parsons House Cypress help support the wellbeing of our residents.

Calcium & Senior Health

​​Calcium plays a crucial role in the health of older adults by helping maintain strong bones and teeth. As we age, our bodies can become more prone to bone density loss, which can lead to conditions like osteoporosis

An adequate calcium intake can help seniors maintain bone strength. Additionally, calcium is essential for proper muscle function and nerve transmission, which can be particularly important for helping older adults maintain mobility and overall well-being. 

It’s important for older adults to prioritize their calcium intake through a balanced diet and, if necessary, with the guidance of a healthcare professional, to support their long-term health and vitality.

How Can Seniors Get More Calcium?

One of the easiest ways older adults can get enough calcium is by including calcium-rich foods in their diet. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, are excellent sources of calcium. 

Other foods that are high in calcium include:

  • Seeds (poppy, sesame, celery, and chia)
  • Sardines
  • Canned salmon
  • Beans and lentils
  • Almonds
  • Whey protein
  • Leafy greens 
  • Rhubarb
  • Edamame beans
  • Tofu
An assortment of various beans sorted into different wooden bowls.

Calcium Supplements

While supplements can be useful for some, calcium-rich foods offer a multitude of additional nutrients that support overall health. The bioavailability of calcium from food sources is generally higher than supplements, meaning it’s easier for the body to absorb.

By incorporating a diverse range of calcium-rich foods such as dairy products, leafy greens, nuts, and canned fish into their diets, older adults can boost their calcium intake and benefit from a broader spectrum of essential nutrients that can improve their overall well-being.

Possible Side Effects of Calcium Supplements

Calcium supplements can have some potential side effects, especially if taken in high doses. These may include constipation, bloating, and gas. 

While calcium is essential for bone health, getting too much of it from supplements can lead to hypercalcemia, a condition characterized by high calcium levels in the blood. To avoid these issues, older adults should aim to get most of their calcium from dietary sources and use supplements only under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

How Much Calcium Is Too Much?

Older adults only need about 1,000–1,200 mg of calcium daily, and there’s no benefit to taking more. Getting more than that amount could cause other health problems, such as kidney stones, so it’s crucial for older adults to be mindful of their total daily calcium intake. 

Other Ways to Support Your Bone Health

Older adults can keep their bones strong and healthy in various ways. Regular muscle-strengthening exercises—such as walking, dancing, or lifting weights—can help strengthen bones and reduce the risk of fractures

Additionally, an adequate vitamin D intake through sunlight exposure and diet can enhance calcium absorption and contribute to overall bone health. Vitamin D deficiency is common, affecting 50% of the global population. To address this, healthcare professionals often recommend vitamin D supplements for older adults to support their bone health. Our staff can assist with medication management, ensuring calcium supplements are taken as prescribed.

Lastly, scheduling regular checkups with healthcare providers for bone density screenings and discussing any concerns about bone health are essential steps for maintaining strong and resilient bones well into your golden years. 

Support for Healthy Eating & Living Well

Calcium is a crucial nutrient older adults need to maintain their bone health. As a family member or caregiver, promoting healthy habits like eating a well-balanced diet and exercising can improve your loved one’s well-being. 

Additionally, a senior living community like Parsons House Cypress can provide even more support for your loved one. With delicious and nutritious meals served daily, medication management, and exercise programs designed specifically for older adults, your loved one can thrive in a community like ours.

If you’re considering how a senior living community could benefit yourself or a loved one, reach out to us today or join us for a tour

Written by Parsons House Cypress

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