People develop osteoporosis when their bones lose minerals and therefore mass. This weakens the bones, leaving them vulnerable to fracturing. Once fractured, those bones have a much more difficult time healing. The sooner that your senior learns that she has osteoporosis, the sooner she can start to do something to reduce the impact of osteoporosis on her life.
Causes of Osteoporosis
Older adults are more likely to develop osteoporosis than younger adults are, and women are more likely to develop this bone condition than men are. If your senior has a family history of osteoporosis, she’s much more likely to develop it than if she didn’t have that family history. There may be other factors that contribute, too, such as health issues, a nutrient-deficient diet, and some medications.
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis really doesn’t have symptoms, which is part of what makes it a condition your senior needs to know a lot about. Most people learn that they have osteoporosis after they experience a fall that results in a broken bone. That’s a terrible way to learn that you’ve got a condition that results in weakened bones.
If your elderly family member has fallen, x-rays may show that her bones are smaller or weaker than they should be. But in general, your senior’s doctor will pay attention to dietary concerns and vitamin deficiencies, changes in height, and changes in the way your senior walks. There are also bone density tests that your senior’s doctor can run that help to predict whether she’s at risk of developing osteoporosis. It’s a good idea to have a baseline test run to compare with future results.
Living with Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is something that your senior can live with, especially if she’s taking care to protect her bones, to prevent fractures, and to avoid falling. Starting a weight-bearing exercise plan with the blessing of her doctor is important. It’s also important that she assess her fall risk and put together a fall-prevention plan. Having elderly care providers helping her on a regular basis can also be a great way to ensure that she’s able to live a full and happy life, even with osteoporosis.
Staying on top of nutrition, exercise, and fall prevention are the three biggest things that your senior can do to help her bones. Over time, there may be other treatments that your elderly family member’s doctor can recommend for her.
If you or an aging loved one is considering elderly care in Sterling, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 782-3655
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