Do you often feel more cheerful after you’ve been outside on a sunny day? If so, it’s because you are getting some much needed production of vitamin D, otherwise known as ‘the sunshine vitamin’, from the sunlight on your skin.
Low levels of vitamin D can cause low moods, fatigue and even depression, so it’s important for a person with dementia to get outside in the sunshine as much as possible, while still being sure to protect their skin with sun cream of course.
Vitamin D can help the body absorb calcium from foods, it keep bones strong and prevents bone pain and discomfort – people with dementia are much more prone to falls due to becoming confused or disorientated so it’s important to keep vitamin D levels up.
As we know, the sun doesn’t always shine here, so there are other ways to increase levels of vitamin D, such as introducing oily fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel into a person with dementia’s diet. Eggs, red meat and liver and fortified foods such as margarine spreads are also good sources of vitamin D.
Alternatively, there are also vitamin D supplements available but a doctor should always be consulted before taking these.
Bigger issues surrounding dementia, such as memory loss, can often become the main focus of the disease, but it is important to ensure the body is looked after as much as possible too.