Home Health Care – Nutritional Advice posted on: 07-08-2009

Many of us do not get the proper nutrition that our bodies require from the foods that we consume. In general, most people do not maintain a healthy and well balanced diet from which the nutrients could be derived. Failing to do this could result in a number of adverse health effects due to vitamin deficiencies within the body – especially among the elderly. Our bones may weaken because of low calcium intake, our eyesight may fail due to the omission of certain vitamins, or our immune system may become compromised because our bodies are weak and deprived in general. Luckily, if receiving home health care, from either a professional service like ours or from a loved one, you will be in a situtaion to make a difference.

What are dietary supplements?

Dietary supplements are pills, capsules, or drink mixes that contain a mixture of vitamin and minerals to supplement the body‘s intake of the daily requirements of each one that, for whatever reason, is not being achieved through diet alone. Optionally, there is a supplement for each individual vitamin and mineral so that people can pick and choose what’s right for them based on their deficiencies. Supplements may include herbs, animal extracts, and amino acids in addition to their vitamin and mineral content.

Who may need to take a dietary supplement?

People who are not consuming the recommended daily amounts of vitamins or minerals should consider taking a dietary supplement. Meeting the body’s required amount of each one is crucial for maintaining a healthy body and lifestyle. The elderly population often consumes the bulk of dietary supplements due to increased risk factors from having a deficiency that accompanies age. The chances of a senior needing to take supplements if they are receiving home health care are slim due to the supervision and care they are receiving.

Who should not take dietary supplements?

People who are taking regular medications, whether they are prescribed or the over-the-counter variety, should seek the advice of their dietician, doctor, and/or pharmacist to rule out any possible interactions between the supplements and their medications. Just because the supplements contain important vitamins and minerals does not ensure that they are safe to take in every circumstance.

People who have recently had surgery or are scheduled for surgery in the near future should not consume dietary supplements. The consumption of dietary supplements before or after a surgical procedure could lead to severe complications such as blood pressure and bleeding issues. People who are already consuming dietary supplements should discontinue their usage two to three weeks prior to having a surgical procedure performed.

Regardless of whom is providing your home health care dietary supplements are best used under the supervision of a qualified health professional. Always consult your doctor with questions and concerns before taking any dietary supplements.