Without strong bones, even a tiny fall could leave your senior tied up for months healing from an injury. Whether she has osteoporosis or not, your elderly family member needs to focus on bone health.
Assess Current Bone Strength
The very first step in this journey is to find out how strong your senior’s bones are right now. Her doctor can do this easily with a bone density test. This test looks at factors that might contribute to bone weakness so her doctor can come up with a plan that is likely to be most effective for your senior.
Increase Physical Activity
Bone health improves with weight-bearing activity. This is activity like walking or anything that you do while standing, because gravity helps. Your senior’s doctor can help her to determine what types of exercise are going to be right for her. The most important part of that is figuring out how much exercise she can tolerate to start. Gradually increasing activity levels will help her to stick with it and to see benefits.
Do a Medication Review
Medications, even ones that your senior has taken for a long time, can cause her to be less stable than she wants to be on her feet. It’s a good idea to periodically talk to her doctor about the medications and the dosages that your senior is taking so that you can make adjustments as necessary.
Increase Sleep Quality
Sleep is a big part of helping your elderly family member to not only stay healthy, but to maintain her balance and to get plenty of exercise when she’s awake. Sometimes sleep problems have a medical cause, while other sleep issues are a problem with sleep hygiene. Make sure your senior’s room is comfortable and consider establishing set sleep and wake times. If she’s still not getting quality sleep, talk to her doctor.
Rule out Other Factors
Other factors, such as health issues like low blood pressure, can also have an effect on bone health and fall safety. Your senior might also be afraid of falling, which can affect what she does and how she moves at home. It can help a lot to have senior care providers offering her assistance and getting a full picture of what she might be experiencing at home.
Keep working with your senior’s doctor to add and to change steps on this journey as needed. Every senior’s path with bone health is slightly different, but it’s all crucial. The stronger her bones are the less likely she’ll be to experience a fracture or other life-changing injury should she fall.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Dulles, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.