Bone health is vital for aging adults because unhealthy bones are extremely prone to breaking. Learning the risk factors for osteoporosis and keeping your elderly family member’s bones as healthy as possible might be as simple as some of these changes.
Consider Supplements, if Necessary
Calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D all go into keeping your senior’s bones healthy. Her doctor might do a blood test to determine if she’s deficient in any of these nutrients. Supplementation, even temporarily until she makes dietary changes, might be one of the recommendations.
Look at Dietary Changes
In many cases, doctors might not worry about supplements as much as ensuring that your senior is eating a nutritious diet. If she’s eating primarily convenience foods or foods that are not as high in nutritional value as they could be, then some changes might be a good idea. It’s difficult sometimes to cook new types of food and to change eating habits, so you might want to look at ways to make this easier. You might hire senior care providers to take over cooking and grocery shopping, for instance, so that your senior only has to enjoy the delicious food.
Help Her to Exercise More
You might most commonly hear about weight-bearing exercise, like walking, to be a good choice for people who are prone to osteoporosis. That’s an excellent option, but other types of exercise, such as strength exercises and balance exercises, can also be incredibly beneficial. Always work with your senior’s doctor to determine how much exercise she needs.
Evaluate Certain Lifestyle Choices
Some of the choices that your senior may make every day can affect her bone health. Smoking can do a lot of damage and that’s still a factor when it comes to osteoporosis. If your elderly family member can cut back on smoking or even quit entirely she may reduce her risk of osteoporosis. Likewise, decisions such as drinking alcohol can leave your elderly family member unsteady on her feet, which can leave her open to a fall and possibly a broken bone.
Medication Might Be an Answer
There are some medications that your elderly family member can take that can help her to improve her bone strength. All medications have side effects, though, and some of the medications that can help with osteoporosis may not be right for your senior. Her doctor can help her to determine if this is a viable option for her.
Your elderly family member might have some very specific risk factors to consider. Work with her doctor to determine what plan is going to be most effective for her situation. Periodic bone scans can help you to assess how well the plan is working and to tweak whatever still needs adjusting.