If you’re Santa you’ve got a busy night come Christmas Eve. If Santa were to hurt himself and land in a post-acute care community then calcium intake would be something our staff would want to know about. This isn’t just because Santa eats his fair share of milk and cookies, it’s in large part because calcium is a major building block of bone tissue. In fact, 99% of the body’s calcium is stored in the skeleton. Along with vitamin D and protein, adequate calcium intake helps older adults maintain bone health as people age and Santa is hundreds of years old.
Calcium recommendations in post acute care communities vary based on age and gender. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, women and men over 70 years of age, should get at least 1,200 mg per day.
A recent study from 83 countries and more than 6,900 users found that the average calcium intake was 594 mg per day. Men and women had almost equal percentage of insufficiency (89% vs 90% respectively). Only 11% achieved sufficient calcium intake levels.
As the experts in post acute care, a healthy, balanced diet combined with regular exercise and smart lifestyle choices, such as not smoking and moderate alcohol intake, helps you set the foundation for strong bones as you age. For those of you at high risk of fracture due to osteoporosis, a bone-health diet also supports fall prevention and enhances the positive outcomes of physical therapy.
Calcium needs should be met through food sources primarily. However, supplements can be beneficial if adequate calcium intake cannot be met through a balanced diet, especially where certain medical conditions exist. If you have concerns, it is best to speak to your doctor.
This holiday season make sure you are getting the right amount of calcium. Our post acute staff are licensed professionals that understand health for seniors inside and out.