Osteoporosis is a common condition in older adults. It causes the bones to become thin and brittle, which makes them break easily. Bumping against something or even coughing can cause a fracture. The most common places for breaks to occur are in the wrists, hips, and spine. If your aging relative is one of the 10 million people living in the United States who has osteoporosis, educating yourself about the disease can make you a more effective family caregiver.
Below are 6 facts to get you started.
#1: Osteoporosis Puts Seniors at Risk for Disability and Death
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 24 percent of people over the age of 50 who break a hip die within a year of the fracture. Only about 15 percent of people who break a hip can walk on their own six months after the break occurs. One-quarter of people who suffer hip fractures have to live in a long-term care facility and only 50 percent ever return to their previous level of function.
#2: Osteoporosis Causes Multiple Symptoms
In addition to bone breaks, osteoporosis causes other kinds of symptoms, such as:
Pain in the back, which happens because of vertebra fracturing or collapsing.
Getting shorter over time.
Walking and standing with a stooped posture.
#3: Vitamin D Supplements May Be Necessary
Vitamin D is necessary for the body to use calcium. Although vitamin D is found in some foods and can be absorbed through the skin from sunlight, many people don’t get enough of the vitamin. Talk to your aging relative about whether a vitamin D supplement is right for your aging relative.
#4: People with Osteoporosis Should Take Extra Care to Prevent Falls
Because of the high risk for fractures, your older family member should be extra careful about falling. Take some steps to reduce the risk of fall inside their home, such as removing loose rugs and other tripping hazards, adding railings on both sides of staircases, and putting grab bars in the bathroom.
#5: People with Osteoporosis Require Ongoing Medical Care
Osteoporosis is typically treated with medications. Once your aging relative has been prescribed medicines, it is important that they take them as directed. They will also need repeated bone density tests to determine if the medication is working.
#6: Elderly Care Can Be Beneficial for People with Osteoporosis
Elderly care providers can help seniors with osteoporosis to prevent falls. An elderly care provider can walk with the older adult, offering them support. Elderly care providers can also keep the house tidy so that there is no clutter that could cause tripping. In the event of a fall, having an elderly care provider to help them get up or call for emergency medical treatment could save your loved one’s life.
Are you or a loved-one considering hiring Homecare in Fairfax, VA? Please call the caring staff at Medical Professionals On Call today. Contact: 703-273-8818