Osteoporosis is a progressive bone disease that results in a loss of bone mass. This loss of bone mass could dramatically increase the chances that an older adult suffers a bone fracture.
In fact, the International Osteoporosis Foundation recently found that nearly ten million osteoporosis sufferers suffer a bone fracture every year. In addition, one-third of women aged fifty and over will experience a fracture brought about by osteoporosis.
Hip, forearm and spinal fractures are especially common in older adults who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
In the early stages of osteoporosis, the condition is more felt than readily seen. That said, elderly patients suffering from moderate to severe osteoporosis might suffer from back pain or fractures in the back’s vertebrae.
An elderly person with advanced osteoporosis might also have a noticeable stoop or reduction in height through progressive bone loss, spinal fracture, and decades of living with osteoporosis.
Age and Gender Differences
Although some younger people could be at higher risk for developing osteoporosis, the bone loss that exacerbates osteoporosis is normally age-related. In addition, osteoporosis is somewhat linked to gender.
Women in their fifties suffer greater bone loss, on average, than their male counterparts. Over age fifty, however, men and women are reported to suffer similar rates of bone loss and the odds of developing osteoporosis even out.
It’s astounding to note that approximately two-fifths of women age 80 and older have suffered at least one spinal fracture in their lifetime. Osteoporosis in older women (and men) results in a heightened chance of suffering a spinal fracture.
Treatments for Osteoporosis
It’s important to talk to your doctor about osteoporosis medications and all available treatment options. Some osteoporosis medications like antiresorptive medications help halt bone loss and may increase bone density.
As osteoporosis is often related to age-related bone loss, and since bone loss is related to poor assimilation of certain vitamins and nutrients, it can be helpful to provide some dietary interventions for elderly osteoporosis sufferers.
The bodies of older adults are less adept at absorbing dietary calcium. Adults over age sixty-five probably need to take a calcium supplement to increase calcium absorption and bone density.
Another supplement that might be a good recommendation for an elderly person suffering from osteoporosis is cod liver oil. Why? Because cod liver oil has a very high percentage of Vitamin D.
As elderly people get older, they’re often exposed to less sunlight. Our skin has developed the capability to develop Vitamin D from our exposure to the sun throughout the day.
If elderly people are kept inside all day, then their exposure to sunlight and Vitamin D decreases. A Vitamin D supplement or one teaspoon of cod liver oil could rectify age-related bone loss.
A calcium supplement and Vitamin D supplement used in conjunction can help strengthen bones and prevent spinal fractures in the elderly.
You should always talk to your doctor about new supplements you are planning on taking. There’s a chance a new supplement could interfere with current medications, especially if you’re taking a blood-thinning mediation already.
Bones, muscles and joints of elderly people need some level of regular movement to maintain their strength and integrity over time.
Regular exercise could also help improve an elderly person’s coordination and posture, which could subsequently drive down the risk of falling and hip fracture.
Although studies indicate that daily exercise can help improve mobility, coordination and balance, it’s important to talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.
If an elderly family member has osteoporosis, they may need the help and support of a home care agency like the services of regularlink.com members Back Home Senior Care and HomeAide Home Care, Inc.