What Even Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a common disease that occurs when the bones in our body lose minerals faster than they can be replaced, increasing the likelihood that a senior will suffer a debilitating injury from an accidental fall. 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.
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.
This risk increases dramatically after the first occurrence!
Due to the high physical and financial cost that osteoporosis presents to senior care, prevention and treatment are top priorities. Here are a few of the leading options:
Give us a call at (267) 293-7434 to learn more!
Are There Any Medications?
Most osteoporosis medications work by blocking the effect of bone-destroying cells that increase in number as we age. One of the medications, 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 osteoporosis drugs belong to a group of drugs called bisphosphonates that behave much like the female hormone estrogen. This means that they preserve bone mass, inhibit bone breakdown, and may even increase bone density in the spine and hips. Examples of these medications include:
Be sure to always talk to a doctor before starting any new medications, they will be able to help determine if a medication will be safe and effective for you or your loved one.
Diet Plays A Major Role In Prevention!
One of the easiest ways that you and your loved one can prevent the development of osteoporosis is by maintaining a healthy diet full 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.
There are plenty of foods with naturally high amounts of calcium but, for those with allergies or intolerances, a doctor may recommend taking a calcium supplement.
Natural sources calcium include:
- Soy products
- White Beans
Vitamin D is crucial to the health of our bones due to the way our bodies absorb calcium. Most people will get enough through exposure to sunlight or in their diet but, if that isn’t enough a doctor may recommend taking a vitamin D supplement as well.
Exercise: A Key To Strong Bones
A doctor may recommend having an exercise routine or going to physical therapy in addition to other osteoporosis treatments. This is because of the way exercise can help to strengthen bones and muscles, as well as improve balance and posture, at any age.
To take your routine to the next level, you can try adding weights to your favorite resistance exercises but, always be sure to check with your doctor before starting a new routine.
Why Not 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
Reduce The Risk Of Accidental Falls
Finally, 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:
- A raised toilet seat or one with armrests
- Grab bars for the shower or tub
- Non slip mats in the bathtub or shower
How Can Comfort Keepers® Help You?
When you choose to work with one of our wonderful caregivers, you’re choosing the best possible senior care for your loved one. Each of our caregivers is trained in our unique philosophy called Interactive Caregiving™, which means that they will support your senior’s mental, physical, and social health in order to provide them comfort, security, and independence in their own home.
If you’d like to learn more about our full list of in home senior care services or would like to schedule your free in home consultation please, contact us online anytime or call us at (267) 293-7434.