5 Tips for Decreasing an Older Adult’s Risk of Osteoporosis

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Genetics can play a significant role in determining if a senior is at risk of developing osteoporosis. However, lifestyle choices can be potential risk factors as well. There are steps seniors can take to prevent muscle weakness and the loss of bone density as they age. Here are some tips to help your senior loved one reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

1. Increase Calcium Intake

Without adequate amounts of calcium, your loved one could experience blood clotting and damaged muscles and nerves. Getting enough calcium can prevent excessive bone mass loss and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Collagen and non-collagen proteins are part of the bone-making process, and calcium can fortify those bones. Therefore, you need to increase the amount of calcium your loved one consumes, either by eating foods full of this nutrient or taking supplements. 

A professional caregiver with training in nutrition can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement as your loved one adopts new healthy habits, including eating more nutritious foods. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Coral Gables elder care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

2. Control Stress Levels

When under a lot of stress, the body produces a large amount of cortisol, which is a stress hormone that negatively impacts bone health. Although small amounts of cortisol can regulate bone function, too much of this hormone could stop bone growth. Cortisol can also affect the ability of bone and cartilage to build cells. If this happens, the excessive amounts of stress could damage tissues and disrupt the body’s ability to build and repair tissues.

3. Stay Physically Active

Regular moderate exercise can reduce the rate of bone loss and increase muscle strength, balance, and posture. Most fractures seniors experience result from osteoporosis, but staying physically active can slow down the bone loss rate and keep your loved one’s bone health in good shape. The best activities for seniors to do when trying to prevent osteoporosis are:

  • Jogging
  • Walking
  • Weightlifting
  • Dancing

If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, hiring a professional caregiver to take over on occasion is a great option. Coral Gables respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

4. Get Plenty of Vitamin D

A natural part of the aging process is losing bone mass, which is why seniors need to find ways to keep their bones dense and durable. Getting plenty of vitamin D is the best place to start. The more of this vitamin seniors get, the more calcium their bodies can absorb from the foods they eat. The good thing about vitamin D is that seniors can obtain it from sunlight in addition to food consumption. When your loved one works in the garden, sits on the porch to read, or goes for a walk in the park, his or her skin will receive adequate amounts of vitamin D, which keeps bones healthy and staves off osteoporosis.

5. Stop Smoking

Smoking is a bad habit that weakens the bones and makes seniors more susceptible to slips and falls as well as age-related conditions like osteoporosis. The toxins from cigarettes and other tobacco products can negatively impact new bone growth and disrupt the process of breaking down and repairing old bones. Your loved one can stop smoking by adopting healthier habits, such as joining a support group, eating healthy snacks, attending social activities, and taking up fun hobbies. 

Professional caregivers with training and expertise in using nutrition and exercise to prevent age-related diseases can be a wonderful asset for seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. Coral Gables, FL, families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at 1 (305) 964-5636 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.