How to Keep Your Senior Loved One's Bones Healthy

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Keeping Elderly Bones Healthy and Strong

By Lesa Hardiman, 9:00 am on

Since older bones need more extensive care, understanding what care measures to take can help seniors prevent falls, broken bones, and osteoporosis. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of senior home care in Grand Rapids, offers these tips on how to help keep your senior loved one’s bones healthy.

Exercise

Exercise can help seniors strengthen their bones to prevent falls and other serious injuries, and strength training is the most effective type of exercise for this purpose. Seniors with osteoporosis, however, should avoid high-impact exercises. Some exercises your loved one may want to consider doing on a regular basis include:

• Stair step machines
• Stretch band techniques
• Elliptical machines

Take More Calcium

Older bones do not absorb calcium as well, which is why your loved should eat foods rich in calcium or take calcium supplements. An ideal calcium intake for anyone over the age of 50 is 1000 to 1500 mg per day. Some foods and beverages containing calcium are:

• Dried beans
• Orange juice
• Yogurt
• Cheese
• Green vegetables
• Sardines

Get More Vitamin D

Without vitamin D, the body cannot absorb calcium and bone density may be reduced. Getting plenty of sunshine is an easy way to obtain this essential vitamin. However, if your loved one does not live in an area with much sun, he or she can still get vitamin D from these foods:

• Cheese
• Egg yolk
• Fatty fish (such as sardines and tuna)
• Beef liver
• Yogurt, soy milk, and fortified milk

Increase Bone Density

Seniors can increase bone density by following a low-salt diet. Eating too much sodium can cause a loss of bone density and decreased muscle mass, both of which can lead to falls and injuries.

Break Bad Habits

Seniors should not smoke or drink alcohol if they want to maintain healthy bones. Heavy alcohol consumption and smoking can decrease bone mass, increasing your loved one’s risk of fractures.

Your loved one is never too old to eat right, exercise regularly, and live the sort of healthy lifestyle that can help prevent bone density loss and fractures. He or she can get into healthier habits with the help of a professional in-home caregiver. For trusted 24/7 live-in care or part-time care in Grand Rapids, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can assist with a wide variety of tasks, including exercise, grocery shopping, and cooking healthy meals. Home Care Assistance guarantees 100% satisfaction on all of our care services, and you’ll never have to sign a long-term contract. Please give us a call at 616-243-0835 to schedule a free in-home consultation.