Elder Care in Perry Township OH
Recent studies by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) found that 1 in 4 American woman over 65 suffers from osteoporosis. Once thought to be a condition that only affected those in the 80-90 year old range, experts are finding that osteoporosis and osteopenia can pose a problem for women as soon as they turn 50. Because osteoporosis weakens bones, it is a major danger for seniors, especially those with existing mobility issues. A fall for one with osteoporosis can lead to debilitating injuries.
For this reason, it’s important for family caregivers and home care specialists alike to take steps to assure seniors in their care are protected from the dangers of osteoporosis and its precursor osteopenia. Two of the major preventative factors are diet and exercise. This doesn’t mean it’s “too late” for those that already have these diseases. In fact, taking these steps may help prevent, or even improve upon, further deterioration.
Women are more likely than men to develop osteoporosis, especially at a younger age. There are many factors for why this may be; Women with small frames tend to have thinner bones, hormonal changes such as menopause affect bone density, and women of Caucasian and Asian ethnicity are at the most risk. Additionally, genetic factors may play a role. Women who have a family history of osteoporosis or fractures may have a higher risk of complications themselves.
Lifestyle also plays a large role in bone health. Smoking and drinking alcohol have connections to bone deterioration, as does consumption of caffeine. Diets low in calcium and vitamin D can lead to weak bones as well. Activity not only affects bone health, but also the ability for muscles to prevent falls and protect against fractures.
Prevention and Maintenance
While no one can prevent genetic risks or hormonal changes like menopause, there are significant lifestyle changes that can do a great deal to maintain bone health. It’s more than exercising more and taking supplements, though those are important choices too. There are also very specific things elders and their caregivers can do to give their bones the best chance at staying healthy.
- Lower Salt Intake – Many start a low sodium diet over heart health concerns, but salt can also have a negative effect on bone health too. Research has found that high salt intake lowers the body’s ability to absorb calcium, which in turn weakens bones. Experts recommend cooking with less salt, keeping the salt shaker off the table, and eating less processed foods.Avoid Soft
- Drinks – While the old wives tale that “soda puts holes in your bones” may be false, there is actually risk involved with excessive soft drink consumption. Many sodas contain phosphoric acid and caffeine, both of which actually make the body lose calcium faster than usual. Replacing soda with fortified orange juice, milk, or the occasional smoothie can go a long way to replenish lost calcium.
- Discuss Medication Risks – Some medications, such as glucosteroids, some antiseizure drugs, and thyroid hormone replacements, can lead to bone density loss and leech calcium. Even some over-the-counter medicine like antacids with aluminum can affect bone health. Elder care givers should discuss bone health risks associated with medications with the prescribing doctor. There may be an alternate medication, or supplement regimen, that can help prevent bone damage.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional elder care services in Perry Township, OH, call the caring staff at Rather Be Home Senior Care at (330) 915-4575 today!
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