In our older years, maintaining healthy bones is important for everyone. That’s especially true for seniors at high risk of osteoporosis. Not everyone realizes just how many people are affected by osteoporosis, but consider this: more than a third of Americans over the age of 50 will suffer a broken bone due to osteoporosis in middle age or old age, including about half of all women over 50. So it’s no surprise that keeping bones healthy is a major concern in the world of senior home care.
At Visiting Angels, our caregivers help clients keep healthy every day. But you don’t need a senior home care professional around to keep bones strong. If you or an elderly loved one in your life are concerned about osteoporosis, consider these strategies to maintaining healthy bones.
Follow a Bone-Friendly Diet
The first step to keeping your skeleton healthy is providing your bones with the nutrients they need to maintain themselves. There are three essential nutrients to forming healthy bones: protein, calcium, and vitamin D.
While milk and other dairy products are the most well-known go-to items for bone health, there are plenty of other foods that you can use to keep bones strong. Some of the foods that can help with healthy bones include calcium-rich foods like nuts, tofu, dairy products, soy beans, broccoli, and cabbage, as well as foods that are high in vitamin D, like eggs or oily fish. Many of these foods are also high in protein.
Make Light Exercise Part of Your Life
Exercise is usually linked to strong muscles, but it’s just as important for maintaining strong bones. In the same way that muscles build strength from regular use, your bones can only stay strong if they receive regular exercise.
Of course, for many people, exercise is something close to a four-letter word. But to maintain bone mass, you don’t need to hit the gym — you just need to engage in regular light physical activity.
Our senior home care workers like to encourage fun, light-exercise activities like walking and gardening. These kinds of activities might not really seem like “exercise” but they’re enough to give your bones a healthy work out.
Talk to Your Doctor about Avoiding Osteoporosis
Maintaining healthy bones and avoiding osteoporosis are all part of living a healthy lifestyle, so be sure to speak with your doctor about any concerns you might have. Your doctor will know better than anyone how at risk you are for osteoporosis and will be able to offer up advice tailored to you and your lifestyle.
To connect with your local Visiting Angels office, call 1-800-365-4189 today. Our caregivers offer senior home care to seniors across the continental United States.