At around 30 years of age, many people start to lose bone mass, making their bones thinner as they grow older. If seniors don’t have lifestyles that counteract the loss of bone mass, they may develop osteoporosis. Here are some of the ways seniors can prevent the development of the disease.
1. Get Sufficient Calcium
Men and women need to get 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily through foods and/or supplements. However, statistics indicate that dietary habits only provide half of the much-needed nutrient. Seniors can easily increase their calcium intake by including low-fat or fat-free dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, and sardines in the diet. Over-the-counter supplements may also be helpful.
Caregivers are often responsible for helping their loved ones maintain a healthy diet according to their individual needs. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elder care. Plantation families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
2. Consume Plenty of Vitamin D
The body cannot absorb calcium without the assistance of vitamin D. Adults normally need up to 800 IU of vitamin D each day. However, if the bones have less than normal density, seniors may require up to 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily. A mere 15 minutes of direct sun exposure can boost vitamin D levels in the body. Fortified dairy products, egg yolks, liver, salmon, and tuna are also great sources.
3. Increase B Vitamin Intake
Vitamins B2, B6, B12, and folate are all essential for bone health. These nutrients play a role in the development of new bone cells and protecting against the deterioration of existing bone cells. Scientists from Tufts University found that older adults who don’t have adequate vitamin B12 levels exhibited lowered bone density in their hips and spines. A group of Japanese researchers learned that by increasing daily B12 intake to 1,500 micrograms along with five milligrams of folic acid decreased the number of hip fractures in elderly people by 80 percent.
4. Limit Cola-Flavored Soda
Cola-flavored sodas contain phosphoric acid. This acid leaches calcium from bones, which causes them to weaken. This problem is particularly noticeable in women. Older women shouldn’t drink more than six glasses of cola per week to prevent possible bone damage.
5. Exercise Regularly
Seniors are advised to continue enjoying active lifestyles by indulging in some type of exercise for cardiovascular benefits and muscle strength. Strength-training and weight-bearing exercises keep bone density healthy as well. Walking, jogging, and going up and down stairs are all examples of weight-bearing activities. Just like the way muscles become stronger with use, bones also become thicker when having to work against gravity or resistance.
Exercise is a great way to stay fit and stave off age-related health issues such as osteoporosis. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior care. Plantation, FL, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
6. Quit Smoking
Nicotine and the other harmful substances found in cigarettes may endanger bones in many different ways. Smoking constricts blood vessels, which interferes with blood flow to the bones. In turn, without adequate nutrition delivered by the blood, bone-forming cells cannot function properly. Cigarettes also interfere with calcium absorption and break down estrogen, which is necessary to build and maintain bones.
Helping an aging parent prevent osteoporosis by adopting a healthier lifestyle can be exhausting. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Plantation, Florida, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Call (954) 533-2410 to speak with a Care Manager today.