Osteoporosis, a situation involving low bone mass and fragile bones, is a concern for many senior citizens as well as for those taking care of elderly patients. There are many steps that those caring for elderly individuals can take to help ward off osteoporosis. The following are just a few to consider.
Get ScannedA DXA or DEXA scan is a test that takes a look at how much calcium and other important minerals are in the bones. It’s good to have one of these scans taken so that a doctor can evaluate current bone health and determine if osteoporosis already exists or seems likely to develop. Having scans on a regular basis also helps a doctor know if there has been deterioration since the last scan or if any adjustments to treatment are necessary.Consider Other TestsSome treatments for other ailments, especially those involving corticosteroids, can weaken bones. If taking care of elderly loved ones, discuss with the doctor whether a calcium and vitamin D test is necessary, especially if any of their medications can deplete these valuable nutrients.
Make a PlanAfter the scan and other tests, it’s a good idea to talk with the doctor to see if there are changes that need to be made in order to protect fragile bones or to prevent fragility from developing. For example, it may be recommended that the patient’s diet be altered to include more calcium-rich foods, such as dairy products. A vitamin D supplement might also be necessary. Working with the doctor and/or a nutritionist to develop a diet that works for the patient, while also taking into consideration other individual dietary needs, is important.Exercising is also crucial to maintain bone health. Working with a doctor or other professional to develop an exercise plan that provides appropriate exercise without creating risks can help to ensure bone health.Smoking is well known to be deleterious to bone health. Although it can be challenging, quitting smoking is highly recommended – and not just for bone health reasons.While talking with the doctor, make sure to mention any people in the patient’s family that developed osteoporosis before they were 50 years of age. This can increase the likelihood of osteoporosis in a descendant.Being on top of this situation when taking care of elderly loved ones can help insure their health and greater mobility – and that’s a positive factor for both patient and caregiver.
Writer, Craig ButlerCraig Butler has been writing on a wide range of topics for more than fifteen years. As the National Communications Director for the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, Craig regularly writes on a range of health and medical topics. Among the many projects he has written for the Foundation is the Cooley's Anemia Storybook, a collection of original short stories for children with the blood disorder Cooley's Anemia. His freelance work has ranged from reviewing moves and CDs to creating entertainment-related stories about baldness, to creating text for comic strips. Craig looks forward to having a dialogue with you about senior care and issues of concern.Christian & Claudia Steiner, OwnersWe hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior that could benefit from our vast array of home care services, including skilled nursing and wound care please call us at 212-614-8057 or email us. We accept all types of long term care insurance as payment. Best!
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