Why Is Osteoporosis Such A Big Deal in Jacksonville, FL?
Osteoporosis is a disease that commonly affects seniors and is caused when our body loses minerals faster than they are replaced. This causes the bones to weaken and become more prone to fracture, increasing the risk that the senior will suffer a debilitating injury from an accidental fall.
After the age of 50, women have a 50 percent chance of suffering an osteoporosis-related fracture, while men 50 and over have a 25 percent chance, with the risk increasing dramatically after the first fracture!
On top of all this, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), low bone mass and osteoporosis affect 52 million Americans and accounts for two million fractures and $19 billion in related expenses each year. Due to the high physical and financial cost that osteoporosis presents, prevention and treatment take a high priority in senior care. Below are a few of the current leading options:
Give us a call at (904) 337-6039 to learn more!
Medication Can Help!
Most of the medications used to treat osteoporosis work the same way, by blocking the bone destroying cells that increase as we age. One of these medications, Denosumab, helps prevent the formation of these cells.
In fact, Denosumab was shown to be effective in preventing fractures for two of the populations most at risk of developing osteoporosis, men in treatment for prostate cancer and postmenopausal women.
Other osteoporosis medications, from a class of drugs called bisphosphonates, behave in a similar way to the hormone estrogen. Meaning they preserve bone mass, inhibit bone breakdown, and may even increase bone density in the spine and hips. Examples of these medications include:
Always be sure to talk to your doctor about any benefits or side effects these treatment options may have. They will be able to help determine if any are right for you or your loved one.
How About Hormone Therapy?
Due to the availability of other treatment options, estrogen therapy is generally not the first choice for maintaining bone density. Potential serious side effects can include the increased risk of :
- blood clots
- breast and endometrial cancer
- heart disease
Diet Is Key!
One of the easiest ways you can help your loved one, and yourself, avoid the pain of osteoporosis is by maintaining a healthy diet with plenty of calcium and vitamin D.
According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), seniors should get around 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day with a max of 2,500 milligrams a day.
Natural sources calcium include:
- Cooked Kale
While there are many natural sources of calcium, individuals with allergies or intolerances may still struggle with getting enough calcium from their diet and may need to take a supplement instead.
Vitamin D is essential to bone health due to the way our bodies absorb calcium and, for most people, the vitamin D they get from exposure to sunlight will be enough. Vitamin D is also found in certain foods like fortified cereals or egg yolks but, if those still aren’t enough a doctor may recommend taking a supplement.
Get Up And Get Moving!
Frequently, a doctor will suggest physical therapy or exercise in addition to other osteoporosis treatments. This is due to the fact that exercise can help to improve bone and muscle strength, posture, and balance, reducing the likelihood of falling and suffering a fracture.
If you’d like to try taking things to the next level, try adding weight to resistance exercises, like walking, but always be sure to consult your doctor before starting a new routine.
Prevent Falls From Occurring!
Additionally, you can help reduce the risk of injury by taking steps to make your home, or your loved one’s, safer. Things to check for can include:
- Use non slip mats in the bathtub or shower
- Loose boxes, newspapers, electrical cords and phone cords in walkways
- Slippery surfaces
Comfort Keepers®: Beyond Simple Personal Care
You’ve got a busy life and can’t always keep up with your senior’s home, diet, or exercise routine and at Comfort Keepers®, we understand. All of our caregivers are trained in our unique approach to senior care in order to provide for your loved one’s mental, physical, and social health. Our goal is to support your senior and help them live happily and independently in their home.
If you’d like to learn more about our caregivers commitment to exceptional senior care or would like to schedule your free in home consultation please, contact us online anytime or call us at (904) 337-6039.