Offering care services across England, we enable our clients to live safely and independently at home. We care for the elderly and support young adults and children. Our specialisation is in nursing and complex care services.
Tips for winter wellbeing from our expert Dr. Sue Jones
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones. In the UK we get most of our vitamin D from being outside in the sunlight. Between October and early March, the sunlight does not have enough UVB radiation for our skin to be able to make vitamin D.
We still need vitamin B in winter, to help the body absorb calcium and phosphate from the foods we eat. If we do not get enough of these minerals we can have problems with our bones, teeth and muscles. Strong bones and muscles help us maintain our mobility and independence. People with higher levels of vitamin D have been found to be less likely to have dental problems and gum disease.
Vitamin D is so important for our health, it is often added as a supplement to our foods. Some breakfast cereals, fat spreads and non-dairy milk alternatives will have vitamin D added. You can also get vitamin D from oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. Red meats, liver and eggs also contain vitamin D.
Other benefits of vitamin D are being investigated and include its potential role in helping maintain our mood and mental wellbeing and boosting our immune system.
The Department of Health recommends some groups of people should take vitamin D supplements, especially in winter. Children under 4 years old and people who are not able to spend time outside regularly are advised to take a supplement. If you have dark skin – for example you have an African, African-Caribbean or south Asian background – you may also not make enough vitamin D from sunlight. It is advisable to speak to your GP or pharmacist if you think you may benefit from taking extra vitamin D, and heed their advice about the right dose for you. Remember to store any supplements out of reach of children or pets.
We shared some tips and advice to help mentally prepare people that have been shielding or in a small bubble throughout lockdown in the below article. here we are sharing some advice regarding physical strength as lockdown restrictions ease. ‘Shielding at home’ involved staying indoors, not having visitors, and not taking part in usual activities outside the home. This has led to people being significantly less physically active.
Older adults already have less muscle mass when compared to younger people and the inactivity imposed by lockdown can have negative consequences for health, such as becoming frailer, losing confidence with walking, and being at greater risk of serious diseases such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. We also need to be outside regularly to absorb vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for our bone and muscle health and it is likely that older adults who have been shielding have had less time in the sunlight.
Regular exercise is key for bone and muscle health. Taking our clients for short strolls is a really good way to start rebuilding their muscles. For the more able, joining a local walking group can be a good way to meet new people and get some gentle exercise. Walking for health can help you find a local group https://www.walkingforhealth.org.uk/
One in three people in the UK will develop dementia, 66% of them women. If the symptoms of dementia are detected in the early stages, people can develop strategies and access help and support to ensure they continue to enjoy a good quality of life.