Milk is as important for seniors as it is for young children. Researchers at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health found weakened bones cause approximately 1.5 million bone fractures every year, which is why drinking milk and meeting the calcium requirements becomes extremely important as seniors age. Anchorage senior care professionals discuss the reasons the elderly should drink milk regularly.
1. Fortify the Teeth
Approximately 93 percent of seniors have tooth and gum decay. On average, 5 percent lose all their teeth to decay. When a person is younger, vitamin D acts as a basic building block for developing strong teeth. Over time, vitamin D in milk becomes important for fortifying teeth and gums and preventing decay. Simply relying on brushing and other personal hygiene tasks to fortify teeth and reduce decay can be ineffective. Milk helps fortify teeth and gums and reduces decay by alleviating the effects of long-term bacterial growth. The protein found in milk consumes the enzymes left over from bacteria, which are attached to the surface of teeth and gums.
2. Increase Bone Strength
Calcium is important for bone strength and dexterity. The large intestine’s ability to absorb calcium diminishes with age, and a senior’s body starts stealing the mineral from the bones, which causes reduced bone density and can result in osteoporosis. Seniors often take supplements to increase calcium intake in the large intestine. Drinking milk can help your loved one maintain a healthy supply of calcium to the bones.
3. Enhance Sleep Quality
Seniors require an adequate amount of sleep. However, sleep patterns change with age, and restless and broken sleep is a normal part of aging. Warm milk can induce sleep, so encourage your loved one to consume it regularly through the day and before bed to help enhance sleep quality.
4. Prevent Muscle Loss
Seniors often experience muscle deterioration, also known as sarcopenia. Regular exercise and activity is recommended to slow down sarcopenia, but exercise without proper nutrition isn’t enough. Milk provides the iron and protein required for effective exercise.
Encourage your loved one to drink milk regularly and reap the health benefits. At Home Care Assistance, we understand the importance of including nutritious foods such as milk into a senior’s diet. Our live-in and respite caregivers in Anchorage can help your loved one prepare nutritious meals, eat healthy, exercise regularly, and accomplish a wide variety of household tasks. Contact us at (907) 770-0907 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how our flexible care plans can help your loved one live independently for as long as possible.