If you have an elderly parent or grandparent, you want to ensure he or she is as healthy, happy, and comfortable as possible. For many elderly people – who tend to have less appetite – a vitamin supplement is often necessary to ensure good nutrition and optimum mental functioning. In many cases, a liquid multivitamin may be the best choice for your older loved one here’s why.
Easier to Take
Older people suffer from a variety of health problems that can affect their ability to swallow pills. This is a special concern for those with breathing problems (who need to be protected from choking), some wheelchair users, and those who spend the majority of their time in bed. Even healthy older people often have to take several medications and don’t want to deal with “yet another pill.” Liquid multivitamins are much easier to swallow than pills, making them easier for your loved one to take.
Another benefit of using a liquid multivitamin is better absorption. The digestive system slows down with age, and some medications can cause stomach upset. This can make it hard for your loved one’s system to break down the fillers and binders used in most pills. Liquid crosses into the bloodstream more easily, ensuring the vitamins make it to the tissues that need them rather than passing through the body intact. After all, vitamins can’t do much good if they aren’t absorbed properly.
Pills are generally swallowed whole, and thus have no taste, but powdered vitamins (a popular alternative) tend to be very bitter. Most people, but especially the elderly (who have fewer taste buds than their younger counterparts) tend to resist bitter tastes. A liquid multivitamin is a good alternative to powders because this type of vitamin tends to taste sweet. If your loved one finds it too sweet, you can often mix it in with water or juice.
Help with Hydration
Since the ability to perceive the sensation of thirst decreases with age, older people tend to suffer from dehydration and constipation. Keeping your loved one hydrated can go a long way toward improving his or her quality of life. Liquid multivitamins can help because they can help with hydration. Mix them into your loved one’s favorite beverage and you’ll be sure he or she is getting vital liquids and nutritional support at the same time.
Less Confusion and Resistance
A sad fact of aging is the loss of memory. Whether it’s normal age-related memory problems or a serious condition such as Alzheimer’s, memory problems can make it hard for older people to remember to take their vitamins. Those with Alzheimer’s can also turn combative and actively resist taking pills. Mixing a liquid multivitamin into your loved one’s normal breakfast orange juice or evening tea can help reduce conflicts and ensure vitamins are taken every day.
Multivitamins are an important part of caring for an elderly person, but so too is an overall healthy diet, exercise, social interaction, and mental stimulation. If you have any serious concerns about your loved one’s physical or mental health, be sure to consult a physician. Geriatrics specialists can often offer the best advice. Remember, with the right care, old age doesn’t have to mean loss of quality of life.