Bone Strengthening Tips for Seniors

man with potted plant, gardening outdoors with mobile medical alert

Updated 8/1/17 |  Alert1 wants to know, have you ever broken or fractured a bone? If you’re over the age of 60, chances of bone related injury and disease increases. The official term for weak and brittle bones is osteoporosis. The disease is a chronic condition that can last for several years if left untreated.

But osteoporosis isn’t something you can detect. Nor are there any actual symptoms until an actual bone fracture. Many seniors can even fracture a bone from coughing or stooping over, let alone the risk associated with an actual fall. For a quick response to emergencies, a senior medical alert system is crucial to persons with osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis means “porous bone” and it occurs when you lose too much bone mass and/or generate too little bone mass. Your bones lose density, their structure becomes abnormal, and they become weak.

People with osteoporosis have bones that break much more easily than healthy bones. If your condition is serious enough, your bones may break so easily that bumping into furniture in the middle of the night could cause serious injury.

How Osteoporosis Affects Seniors

bone comparison osteoporosis

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis affects nearly 10 million Americans and nearly 34 million more are at risk of developing it.

  • Approximately half of all women over 50, and approximately 1 in 4 men, will break a bone due to osteoporosis. As a senior caregiver, you can help your loved one maintain strong bones.
  • When you think about the importance of strong bones, remember this analogy -- your body is like a building and your bones are like the framing of the building. If a building does not have strong framing, it will collapse; if your body does not have strong bones, it will collapse.
  • The bad news is that once you lose bone mass, you can’t get it back. The good news is that you can maximize bone formation and minimize bone loss.
  • Proper nutrition, physical activity, senior checkups and screenings are the keys to maintaining strong bones.

The Diet to Strengthen Senior Bones

cup of milk

You can improve your aging loved one's bone strength by helping them make healthier dietary choices.

  • Be sure they are eating a balanced senior diet that is rich in calcium and vitamin D.
  • Calcium helps build strong bones and vitamin D aids calcium absorption. It is important for your loved ones to maintain a healthy body weight. 
  • Being underweight may increase their risk of bone loss and/or fractures. It is also important to avoid smoking and limit alcohol intake.

Senior Bone Strength and Physical Activity

people doing step training aerobic exercise

Engaging in regular physical activity, including exercise in the colder months, is a key part of maintaining strong bones for seniors.

  • At least 30 minutes of weight bearing and strengthening physical activity is recommended every day.
  • If you can get outside to exercise, the sunshine is a good source of vitamin D and the fresh air will improve your spirits. Your mobile medical alert will keep you safe everytime you are on the go.
  • As a family caregiver, you can also use exercise to prevent caregiver burnout.

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Professional Opinions for Seniors

doctor checkup, professional opinion

Discuss your risk factors with your doctor. 

  • You may be more likely to develop osteoporosis if you are a woman, are over the age of 65, have broken a bone after the age of 50, have certain medical conditions (example: senior arthritis), or take certain prescription medications (example: thyroid medication).
  • Based on these risk factors, you doctor may recommend a bone density test.
  • It is also important to have your vision screened on a regular basis. This will help you avoid falls, which can lead to dangerous fractures.

Take Care of Yourself and Your Bones

senior hand using exercise ball

People with strong bones typically lead longer, healthier lives. Check out these tips for 31 days to stronger bones.

Medical alert systems for seniors are the perfect solution for a loved one with osteoporosis. Our 24/7 command center will monitor your loved ones and call for help when the unthinkable happens. 

Alert1 wants to know: do you or a loved one struggle with osteoporosis? How do you maintain strong bones?    

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