Seniors have a significant risk of developing osteoporosis, as bone density progressively decreases during our adult lives. In fact, more than a million osteoporosis-related bone fractures occur every year, making prevention crucial.
Although more than 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis and tens of millions are at risk of developing osteoporosis, few seniors are assessed or treated. This scary fact is one of the main reasons our experienced caregivers at each of our Poet’s Walk memory care assisted living facilities are dedicated to helping seniors prevent or manage osteoporosis.
What Causes Osteoporosis in Seniors?
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize they may have osteoporosis until it’s too late, after already having suffered an injury as a result. This is because bone loss doesn’t have obvious symptoms. An injury like this can be devastating for a senior, as it can seriously affect their mobility and require rehabilitation.
This makes prevention measures a necessity for seniors, but first, comes education on why it occurs in the first place. Many seniors suffer osteoporosis for the following reasons:
- A loss of appetite is common for many seniors, and as a result, they may not consume the nutrients needed to maintain healthy bones, such as calcium and vitamin D.
- For many seniors, a decrease in regular physical activity leads to a loss of strength and coordination in the bones, joints, and muscles.
- Because they often engage in less outdoor activity, many seniors receive less exposure to sunlight – a valuable source of Vitamin D.
Osteoporosis Prevention Techniques for Senior Citizens
The management of osteoporosis in elderly loved ones is a multi-pronged approach. Osteoporosis treatment and prevention guidelines include:
Maintaining a Balanced Diet – Seniors need enough protein, calcium, and Vitamin D in their diets, which can be obtained through a combination of food and supplements. These nutrients can be found in dark, leafy vegetables, dairy products, fortified milk, meat, and legumes.
Limited alcohol and smoking – Drinking more than two alcoholic drinks a day increase the risk of falling and experiencing an injury from falling. Smoking cigarettes should also be limited or completely restricted, as it speeds up bone loss and comes with other detrimental effects to the lungs and body.
Caffeine and salt – These are not a big concern if your loved one is getting enough calcium, but they can affect other health issues and should be limited.
Exercise – Regular exercise improves balance, coordination, and muscle/joint strength and is a good senior fall prevention measure.
You should also make sure that your loved one’s residence incorporates fall prevention techniques, such as good lighting and removal of loose rugs and anything that they might trip on. There are also medications that can be prescribed to treat osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis Care and Management at Poet’s Walk
At Poet’s Walk, we make sure our residents maintain healthy diets full of nutrients that help prevent osteoporosis and our team is dedicated to keeping our common areas carefully maintained to avoid falls by our seniors. We even support bone, joint, and muscle health by offering ongoing exercise activities, designed to keep seniors healthy, active, and engaged. Through these techniques and offerings, we’re pleased to help our seniors maintain top-levels of health and happiness!