Top Reasons Why Vitamins and Supplements Benefit Older Adults

Medicare Benefits Solutions
Feb 11, 2022

If you have a vitamin deficiency, the effects can show up in several ways. If you have poor nutrition and it doesn’t give you all of the vitamins you need to function correctly, you can slowly start to notice symptoms. 

If the vitamin deficiency is a side effect of reacting to certain medications or due to health complications, your vitamin deficiency could happen quicker. If you have the following symptoms, you could talk to your doctor about why it’s important for adults to take vitamins.

Vitamin Deficiency Blood Test

Top reasons why older adults should consider vitamin deficiency testing: 

  • Confusion, forgetfulness, unpredictable mood changes, or an altered personality. 
  • Decline in your vision quality, especially during the nighttime. You could also develop growths that look white on your eyes. 
  • Excess hair loss or hair that is thinning and brittle, and easily split or broken nails. 
  • Fatigue, weakened muscles, or dizzy spells. 
  • Poor oral health, including tooth damage, tooth decay, sores, cracked lips, and bleeding gums. 
  • Shortness of breath or irregular heartbeat.
  • Skin issues on your body or scalp like scaly patches or red bumps.

You could experience other indicators that you have a vitamin deficiency, especially if the root cause is due to a medication reaction or a medical condition that interrupts your body’s ability to process or take in nutrients correctly. Sicknesses that target your liver, digestive tract, or kidneys can also cause vitamin deficiencies. Surgeries revolving around the intestines or stomach can also contribute. 

It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about your lifestyle, and current nutrition plan and go over any prescription medications you’re taking if you think you may have a vitamin deficiency. Your healthcare provider may order a blood test to help determine if you are lacking in any nutrients and whether or not you should start taking vitamin d or other supplements. 

Different Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Options

In most instances, your body will absorb nutrients better if you get them through food. This means that you can successfully treat most vitamin deficiencies by changing your diet to include more foods that are rich in whatever particular vitamin or vitamins you’re missing. 

Most people know that calcium plays an important role in maintaining strong bones and lessening the chance you will develop brittle bones or osteoporosis later in life. But did you also know that vitamin D is an important nutrient that helps you absorb calcium? Canned tuna, egg yolks, salmon, fortified dairy products and nutritional shakes such as Ensure are just a few of the vitamin D and calcium-rich food sources you can incorporate into your diet and nutrition plan.  

If you’re not able to address your issue through dietary changes, your doctor might recommend that you take over-the-counter vitamins or dietary supplements to help correct your levels. If your deficiency comes from a medication or health issue, you may need an infusion or an injection of vitamins either regularly or throughout your treatment or illness. 

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Does Medicare Cover Vitamins and Supplements?

Supplementing your normal diet with vitamins can give you some nice health benefits. Still, it can also be necessary if your doctor recently diagnosed you with a medical condition that causes nutritional deficiencies. If this is you and you have Medicare coverage, you may wonder if it offers coverage for vitamins. 

Medicare usually doesn’t extend coverage for most over-the-counter types of vitamin supplements. This includes Part A, Part B, or Part D Prescription Drug Plans. Part B coverage may kick in and help pay for it if you have a qualifying medical condition that requires you to get vitamin supplements through an infusion or injection at an approved facility. 

Medicare Part B may also pay for supplements that you take orally if you have a medical condition that requires this specific vitamin supplement or supplements as part of an approved treatment plan. However, you will have to have documentation to prove it, and the medical condition has to qualify under Medicare. 

Medicare Advantage (MA) or Prescription Drug Plans may offer coverage for some vitamin supplements. MA plans come from third-party, private insurers, and they can have extra benefits that allow subscribers to buy non-prescription vitamin supplements with an over-the-counter allowance that refreshes every month. The plans will differ based on your location, formulary, and the insurer you pick. 

However, even if Medicare won’t cover the cost of your vitamin supplements, most of them are going to be cost-effective. The average cost for a 30-day supply of oral vitamin supplements is roughly $10.00 per bottle.

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