What Is Osteoporosis Anyways?
Osteoporosis is a common disease that affects seniors. It is caused when the bones in our body lose minerals faster than they can be replaced, making the bones brittle and prone to fracture. While there are many seniors at risk, most won’t know until they have experienced their first fracture.
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!
In fact, 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. With these facts it’s easy to see why osteoporosis treatment and prevention are crucial to senior care. Below are a few of the leading treatment and prevention options:
Give us a call at (585) 204-6067 to learn more!
Medication Can Help!
Many of the medications that treat osteoporosis work in a similar way, by preventing the effects of bone destroying cells that increase as we age. One of these compounds, called Denosumab, helps prevent the formation of these cells.
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 medications used in osteoporosis treatment, a group of drugs called bisphosphonates, work in a way that is similar to the hormone estrogen by preserving bone mass, inhibiting bone breakdown, and potentially increasing bone density in the spine and hips. Examples of these medications include:
Always talk to a doctor about the potential benefits and side effects before starting any new medication. They can help determine if it will be safe and effective for you or your loved one.
Hormone Therapy: Yes Or No?
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
Calcium And Vitamin D: A Winning Combination
One of the easiest ways that you can help your loved one improve their bone health is by encouraging them to maintain a diet rich in vitamin D and calcium. The amount of each that our body requires changes as we age but, 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:
- Canned salmon with the bones
Vitamin D is also a key component to ensuring your loved one’s bones stay strong due to the way our body absorbs calcium. For most people, the amount obtained through exposure to sunlight will be enough, however, there are also fortified foods, like cereals or orange juice, that contain vitamin D.
If your loved one is unable to get enough of either nutrient through their diet, their doctor may suggest an additional supplement.
A doctor will often suggest combining physical therapy or an exercise routine with other osteoporosis treatments because of the way they can benefit bodies of any age. Regular exercise can help to improve bone and muscle strength, posture, and balance.
In order to achieve the best results you can try adding weights to your favorite resistance exercises, however, be sure to always consult a doctor before making changes to your routine.
Avoid Accidental Falls
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:
- Boxes, newspapers, electrical cords and phone cords in walkways
- Coffee tables, magazine racks and plant stands in high traffic areas
- Hand rails for both sides of stairways
Comfort Keepers® Is Here For You!
When you choose to work with one of our compassionate caregivers, you’re giving them the best possible in home senior care. Each of our caregivers is trained in our unique philosophy called Interactive Caregiving™, meaning they will provide support for your loved one’s mental, physical, and social health in order to allow them to live happily and independently in their own homes.
If you’d like to learn more about our full list of available senior care services or would like to schedule your free in home consultation please, contact us online anytime or call us at (585) 204-6067.