Did you know that 70% of people over 65 take a mineral supplement or multivitamin? Following an article in Harvard Health Publishing, “Taking a multivitamin is low-cost, low-risk and helps fill in potential gaps in nutrition. Dr. Howard Sesso, associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, emphasized that many nutritionists believe that supplementation is fine when a healthy diet does not meet nutrient needs.
Do all the experts agree? Are vitamins only available in pill form? So what does this entail for your aging loved one?
Generally, it is always important to consider your exercise, diet and overall lifestyle to determine what vitamins you need. A key message is to make sure you live a healthy lifestyle and use supplements to fill any gaps or if a doctor recommends a particular vitamin.
Vitamins come in different forms: liquid, chewable, tablets and vitamin patches, a brand new method.
What Is a Vitamin Patch?
Let’s start with the basics. A vitamin patch is a transdermal patch. This patch is an adhesive device that delivers other wellness product (such as a vitamin) or a specific dose of a drug directly through the skin into the bloodstream.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the first transdermal patch in 1979 to treat motion sickness. Today, patches are available for birth control, smoking cessation and dementia treatment.
A transdermal vitamin patch conveniently and safely delivers multivitamin supplements or specific vitamins to you so you can get the nutrients you need throughout the day. One of several differences from vitamin pills is that the vitamins go directly into the bloodstream, rather than being passed through the digestive system.
Useful Vitamin Products for Adults
As per the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, there are some examples of traditional vitamin supplements that can boost your health:
- Vitamin B12 can help keep nerve and blood cells healthy and make DNA
- Folic acid can reduce congenital disabilities when taken by pregnant women
- Vitamin D can strengthen bones
- Calcium can promote bone health
- Vitamin C and E can prevent cell damage
- Fish oil can support heart health
- Vitamin E can slow vision loss due to aging macular degeneration
The most common vitamins for older adults that need to be supplied in the form of tablets or patches include:
- Calcium – works with vitamin D to keep bones strong.
- Vitamin D – helps regulate the amount of phosphate and calcium in the body. These nutrients are needed to maintain healthy bones, teeth and muscles.
- Vitamin B6 – needed to form red blood cells.
- Vitamin B12 – contributes to maintaining healthy red blood cells and nerves.
What Are the Advantages of Vitamin Patches for Seniors?
If the vitamin patch is the right option for you, it offers the following instant benefits:
Vitamin patches can be delivered to you and applied directly to give your body the nutrients it needs. You don’t have to worry about taking vitamins on an empty or full stomach.
Vitamin patches allow you or your loved one to avoid taking the often large pills in which vitamins are usually delivered. This is particularly useful if you are caring for someone who has trouble swallowing pills.
- Durable and Reliable
The patch remains on the skin until it is removed (recommended: 6-8 hours). Common areas of application are upper arm, shoulder and wrist but also any other spot without a lot of hair works well. For those who have dementia, it may be helpful to place the patch somewhere tricky for them to reach to avoid early removal.
Vitamin supplements have direct health benefits and vitamin patches can provide you with unique benefits. If you’re thinking about your aging parents, a vitamin patch is a convenient way to boost their vitamin B12 (as doctors recommend). You can help them stick the patch (or patches) on every morning and not have to worry about fitting a pill into regular routine.
The vitamin patch is not a solution and is not intended to cure, treat or prevent any disease. It is always recommended to take a long-term approach to one’s diet, health and intake of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin patches are also a pretty new invention with little evidence of their effectiveness. However, they can be a viable alternative in special situations where oral intake of supplements is impossible or difficult.
Let us know in the comment section below if you are taking vitamin patches.