In a previous post we discussed how regular exercise and proper medication management can help prevent seniors from falling. A new study published by Osteoporosis International backs this up, adding that older people at risk of bone fractures often make positive lifestyle changes to avoid them, including exercising, wearing proper footwear, and taking supplements.
Even so, falls are a leading cause of loss of senior independence. In many cases, falls result in bone fractures, leaving an elderly person debilitated for months. It’s even more discouraging to find that having such a fracture doubles a person’s risk of having another, according to Bio-Medicine.org. Fractures are a very real risk: Nearly half of all women and one in five men over 50 will suffer from a fracture after falling from standing height or lower. Hip fractures in particular leave many people living in long-term care facilities or even result in death, according to Dr. Joanna Sale, a clinical epidemiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital and lead author of the study.
In the study, participants over the age of 65 were asked about their perceived fracture risk, what recommendations they received about bone health, their results of recent bone density tests, and whether or not they made any lifestyle changes since their last fracture.
Some takeaways from the study:
- Nearly all participants understood that they had low bone mass and were at risk of a having a future fracture. Even so, many were still confused about the significance of bone density.
- Many felt that they had little control over their fracture risk. Still, all in this group were taking steps to manage their fracture risk, including using handrails or wearing proper shoes.
- Nearly all said they were considering or were already taking prescribed medications for their bone health. Most said they either were or were considering exercising more, eating more healthily, taking supplements, and/or using walking aids.
The participants in the study were fortunate enough to be in the Osteoporosis Exemplary Care Program at St. Michael’s, which included a coordinator who educates and follows up with patients. Many others aren’t so lucky. By helping your loved one become educated about the real risks that come about with falls and fractures, he or she will be better able to take positive action to reduce fracture risk, enabling a longer, happier, and more independent life.
Physicians Choice Private Duty currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of geriatric care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. Get your free Cost Comparison guide by clicking here . Or contact us for a free consultation or just to say hello!
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