Statistics indicate 200 million older adults around the world have osteoporosis, including approximately a third of older women. The diagnosis refers to skeletal bones being less dense and more fragile, which increases the likelihood of fractures. Osteoporosis commonly leads to spontaneous fractures, which means weight-bearing bones break without much effort, leading to falls. However, there are several lifestyle changes seniors can adopt to ensure ongoing bone health.
1. Exercise Regularly
Seniors should engage in some form of weight-bearing exercise 30 minutes a day up to five times a week to strengthen their bones. The activity stimulates the growth of new bone cells while building muscle strength and increasing balance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports older women who exercise regularly reduce the likelihood of falling by 40 percent.
Seniors who need assistance with exercise and other daily tasks can benefit from professional in-home care. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Mesa respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
2. Get Sufficient Calcium Intake
Seniors need 1,200 milligrams of calcium each day, according to the Institute of Medicine, and they can ensure they get sufficient quantities of calcium by consuming fat-free or low-fat dairy products daily. Over-the-counter calcium supplements are another option.
3. Increase Daily Intake of Vitamins
The body cannot use calcium without having sufficient quantities of vitamin D. Many dairy products are fortified with this essential vitamin. Spending 10 to 15 minutes a day in direct sunlight also helps the body produce vitamin D. Vitamin K is also necessary for calcium regulation and bone cell formation. Dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are all good sources of vitamin K. Many of these vegetables also supply calcium. Magnesium ensures calcium enters bone tissue, and vitamin C stimulates the enzymes needed to ensure bone cell growth and bone strength. Both nutrients are found in lean meats and brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Older adults should strive to get five servings of fruit and vegetables each day.
If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
4. Eat Foods High in Protein
Older adults need to consume at least one-third of their daily calories as protein. Protein is necessary to stimulate a specific growth hormone that encourages new bone cell development and growth. Lean meats are a rich source of vitamin B, which is another nutrient needed to build and maintain strong bones. Daily protein consumption for older adults should be in the range of:
- 46–75 grams for women
- 56–91 grams for men
5. Get Regular Bone Density Scans
A bone density test, also known as a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan, is a simple noninvasive test that determines bone density. The test merely requires a senior to lie on a cushioned table while a low dose of X-rays scan the hips and spine. Upon completion of the test, the senior gets a “T score,” which compares his or her bone density with that of younger adults. Scores ranging from +1.0 to -1 indicate normal bone thickness. On the other hand, a score of -1 to -2.5 or lower indicates abnormally low bone density. If bone density is too low, healthcare providers typically recommend several treatment options, which may include dietary changes, exercise, and medications.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elderly home care. Mesa, AZ, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. Call one of our Care Managers at (480) 699-4899 to learn about our customized in-home care plans.