Osteoporosis is a medical condition that causes bones to become brittle and fragile. This condition is commonly observed in seniors and can affect their mobility in several ways. Here’s what you need to know about it, how it can affect seniors, and how you can help seniors live a better life with it.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a progressive bone disease characterized by decreased bone density and quality, leading to an increased risk of fractures. It happens to lose too much bone over some time.
In a healthy individual, bone tissue undergoes a constant process of remodeling, where old bone is broken down (resorption), and new bone is formed. However, this balance is disrupted in osteoporosis, resulting in a net loss of bone density over time.
Osteoporosis often develops among adults, particularly women, after menopause. However, it can also occur in men and younger people due to certain medical conditions or lifestyle factors. Here’s how it can affect the mobility of seniors.
One major impact osteoporosis has on senior mobility is reduced balance. As bones become less dense, a senior is more susceptible to falls, slips, or other accidents that can cause injuries. Even a minor fall can cause a serious bone injury for seniors with weakened bones.
Decreased Range of Motion
As osteoporosis progresses, seniors may experience decreased range of motion in their joints. This can limit their mobility, making it challenging for seniors to perform everyday activities such as walking, getting up from a chair, or even bending down to pick up an object.
Fragile Bone Structure
One of the primary effects of osteoporosis is the weakening of bones. The deterioration of bone structure can cause pain, discomfort, and a lack of strength and power in physical movements, reducing mobility in everyday activities. Moreover, movement patterns that have been part of daily activities for years may contribute to bone fractures.
Seniors with osteoporosis may experience many painful symptoms, including backaches, joint and muscular pain, and muscle stiffness. This pain, mainly if it’s chronic, can have a significant impact on their quality of life and hinder their mobility. It can also lead to depression, sleep disturbances, and difficulties in participating in other activities they enjoy.
Reduced Muscle Strength
As seniors struggle with osteoporosis and decreased mobility caused by less dense bones, they may experience a decline in overall body strength. Besides, reduced muscle strength makes them feel more prone to fatigue or lack of energy, decreasing their ability to engage in physical activity.
Helping Seniors Live a Better Life
Osteoporosis might affect a senior’s mobility in various ways, but with the right options, they can still live a better life. Here are five things you should do to help them with their mobility issues.
Your senior must get the proper professional care, especially at home. You can look for a reliable hospice care provider that offers personalized services to elderly patients with osteoporosis. This can help them feel comfortable while getting medical attention and assistance.
Encourage your senior to do low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, or yoga that benefit bones and muscles. Regular exercise will reduce pain, improve balance, and help them maintain mobility.
A healthy diet is essential in managing osteoporosis. Ensure they get enough calcium and vitamin D from dairy products, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and lean proteins.
Invest in adaptive equipment such as grab bars and walkers to help your senior stay safe and maintain their balance while moving around.
To avoid unnecessary falls or injuries, create a safe environment for them by removing potential hazards like throwing rugs or loose wires from the floor. You can also install handrails in the staircase and non-slip mats on the bathroom floor to make sure they have a safer experience while moving around.
With proper care, seniors with osteoporosis can still be active and enjoy life despite their condition. Understanding how it affects mobility is essential to provide the best possible care for them and help them live better life. With these tips, you should be able to help your seniors manage their mobility challenges easily!