Many people do not follow a diet that provides all the vitamins, and minerals that the human body needs to function at its best. This is even more true of the elderly population. Lack of the right nutrients can lead to a weakened immune system, poor eyesight, weak bones, and a variety of other health complications.
To make up for many of these vitamin deficiencies people often take dietary supplements. A large majority of dietary supplements are taken by the elderly. As a home care worker it is wise to understand when, and if dietary supplements are the right choice for clients.
As a caregiver, one of the biggest responsibilities a person will face is making sure that their clients eat right. If a senior is under the observation of a home care professional, who helps them set out their meal plans, it is unlikely that they will need any dietary supplementation. If certain vitamins are missing from the diet, then supplements may be used to help balance out the body’s needs. Speaking with the clients doctor can help a caregiver better understand what their clients needs are.
People who take regular medications, even those sold over the counter, should always seek a doctors advice before turning to dietary supplements. Some supplements may cause adverse reactions when combined with medication. Seeking the advice of a doctor or pharmacist is always recommended when dietary supplements may affect new medication.
It is also wise to discontinue the use of dietary supplements both before, and after surgery, unless instructed otherwise by a medical professional. Dietary supplements can cause spikes in blood pressure, and other changes in the body, which may cause complications before, during, and after surgery. Speaking to the clients doctor can help rule out any possible dangers associated with taking dietary supplements, when major medical procedures loom on the horizon.
Unless otherwise notified by a doctor it is recommended that dietary supplementation be stopped three to six weeks before a major medical procedure. As a caregiver, or other person working in the home care industry, it is always important to know what your client is taking, and how it may affect them.