Warnings about osteoporosis are common, but how much do you really know about this bone issue? If you’re not as familiar as you’d like to be, this information can help you and your aging adult make some solid decisions about preventing or managing osteoporosis.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition in which your senior’s bones gradually become weaker and weaker. Eventually, they may become so weak that they fracture, even without an injury that should warrant a broken bone. People with osteoporosis are far more prone to breaking a bone, particularly a hip, if they should fall or otherwise even slightly injure themselves.
Some Risk Factors are Unchangeable.
Age is a big risk factor in osteoporosis, but there are others. Many of these risk factors aren’t something that you or your aging adult can do anything about. Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis, but men do as well. If other people in your senior’s family have had osteoporosis, that tendency is passed along. People with smaller skeletal structures, usually women, tend to be more prone to osteoporosis.
Other Risk Factors You Can Do Something About.
While many of these risk factors aren’t changeable, some others are a little more within the realm of something you can manage. Some medications can leave your elderly family member at greater risk of developing osteoporosis. People who are malnourished, especially if they’re deficient in calcium and vitamin D, are also at greater risk. Alcohol, smoking, and having a sedentary lifestyle can also contribute.
Exercise Can Help a Lot, but So Can Other Treatments.
There are some medications that can help with osteoporosis once it’s diagnosed. Increasing vitamin D and calcium intake can also help, as can changing your senior’s eating habits. Exercise can help a great deal, too, because the right exercise strengthens bones and muscles. Some types of exercise to consider could include:
- Climbing stairs.
- Lifting weights.
- Using resistance bands.
Always work with your senior’s doctor to determine the right type of exercise for her.
If you suspect your elderly family member is at risk of developing osteoporosis, her doctor can run some simple tests to be certain. Once you know for sure, you can put some solutions in place. It might be a good idea to hire elderly care providers who can help ensure that your senior is safe when you’re not able to be there with her.