Vitamin D deficiency is a common finding in institutionalized older persons. Vitamin D-deficient elderly persons are at higher risk of falls and fractures. Long-term care residents should be considered at high risk of vitamin D deficiency and therefore vitamin D supplementation is highly recommended in this population. The minimal effective dose is 800 IU per day. It is recommended that vitamin D supplementation should be implemented in all patients in residential aged care facilities. In addition to vitamin D, calcium supplementation has shown to enhance the effect of vitamin D on bone. Calcium intake should be optimized (1200-1500 mg per day recommended) and supplementation offered to those with inadequate intake. The addition of calcium depends on tolerance, history of kidney stones, and emerging data regarding its cardiovascular safety.
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