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Tips for Preventing Osteoporosis in the Elderly

October 27, 2017 | Blog

Bone density progressively decreases during our adult life, meaning there is a significant concern with respect to osteoporosis in seniors. With more than 10 million people in the United States currently suffer from osteoporosis, and tens of thousands suffering from low bone mass, the risk of a senior developing osteoporosis is becoming more and more alarming.

Sadly, very few seniors are assessed and/or treated for osteoporosis and low bone density. Because of this, the assisted living caregivers and home care providers of Spring Hills are dedicated to doing all we can to prevent our seniors from developing osteoporosis, and to help those who may already suffer from the condition.

Osteoporosis in SeniorsOsteoporosis in Seniors

Because bone loss doesn’t come with noticeable symptoms, many don’t realize they have osteoporosis until they have suffered a bone fracture. For seniors, bone fractures and collapsed vertebrae may be injuries that severely limit mobility and require physical rehabilitation, meaning measures of prevention are critical. One of the key ingredients to prevention is education.

Before performing any techniques of prevention, it is important to understand why seniors are often at risk for developing the condition.

  1. Because of the common loss of appetite, many seniors do not intake the nutrients needed to maintain healthy bones, such as calcium and vitamin D.
  2. Decreased exercise means the bones, joints, and muscles aren’t being flexed and thus, they may experience a loss in strength and coordination.
  3. Infrequent outdoor activity means lessened exposure to sunlight, a valuable source of Vitamin D.

Osteoporosis Prevention Techniques for Senior Citizens

There are many things you can do for the management of osteoporosis in elderly loved ones. When caring for them, keep the following things in mind to ensure utmost bone health:

  • A Balanced Diet – A well-balanced diet will naturally be rich in calcium, vitamin D, protein and other nutrients that support bone health. Ensure that daily meals include dark leafy greens, hearty whole grains, and protein-packed meats and seafood.
  • Limited alcohol, caffeine, and salt – Caffeine and salt intake are not great for health in general, but are not a concern if your loved one receives enough calcium. Alcohol, on the other hand, in excess of two drinks a day, increases the risk of falling and therefore fracture.
  • Restrict Smoking – Cigarettes speed up bone loss and have other health complications, so encourage your loved one to stop smoking.
  • Exercise – Regular exercise improves bone mass and helps maintain bone density, and with increased strength in muscles and joints, your loved one is less likely to lose balance and fall.

Apart from these osteoporosis treatment and prevention guidelines, you may also wish to make sure that your loved one’s residence is well lit and all loose rugs and cords removed so that they are less likely to fall. There are also medications to maintain or decrease bone loss, but these should be monitored by a health care provider.

Osteoporosis Care and Management with Spring Hills

With our years of experience, Spring Hills ensures that all clients are provided support in preventing or treating osteoporosis. Residents in our assisted living facilities are fed healthy foods with plenty of nutrients and common areas of our facilities are properly maintained for fall prevention. Our caregivers can even provide home assessments and home modification recommendations for fall prevention. Spring Hills also customizes exercise programs to fit the needs of each client – whether they are a resident or home care recipient.

Have any questions about our services or about preventing osteoporosis in your loved one? Contact us – we’d be happy to help. 

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