As we grow older, our bones and muscles start to weaken and lose their strength. A lot of seniors suffer from osteoporosis or are at risk of suffering from it.As we grow older, our bones and muscles start to weaken and lose their strength. A lot of seniors suffer from osteoporosis or are at risk of suffering from it. When old bones start to be lost at a faster rate than new bones can be formed to replace them. In some men, and more frequently women, this bone-loss is very severe. Their bones become weak, fragile and liable to break easily. This condition is known as osteoporosis.
Activity levels tend to drop as we get older because of various reasons such as lack of energy, Fear of falling or hurting yourself, joint pain, stiffness, etc. Level of activity drops and this causes the muscles and bones to weaken increasing the risk of osteoporosis.
One in four women and one in eight men over 60 years of age suffers a fracture due to osteoporosis. Bones at the highest risk of fracture are the hip, spine and wrist. Women are at a much higher risk because during and after the menopause they experience rapid bone-loss following reduction in female hormone oestrogen. Bone-loss at this stage can be prevented by hormone replacement therapy. Apart from causing pain, fractures can make independent living difficult and may cause long-term problems with mobility. We are not certain about the exact number of Indians having osteoporosis. In view of the general poor nutritional status and faulty lifestyles it is expected that the number may be very high. There are some simple measures one can take to prevent fractures whatever the age. As you grow older, you are more likely to have a fall; so it is important to take a look at your home to make it as safe as possible. Some simple, practical steps you could take are the following:
- Be careful about anything that might make you trip or slip.
- Keep objects of everyday use at a reasonable height to avoid reaching or bending.
- Ensure well-lit corridors and staircases regular vision tests will ensure that your sight is adequate.
- Eat meals rich in calcium and vitamin D.
- Exercises that improve balance and coordination should also be done such as Yoga or tai chi.
- Avoid sitting for long stretches. Get up and walk a little in every 20-30 minutes.
- Maintain appropriate weight
- Go for regular check-ups of Calcium and vitamin D.
- Regular eye and hearing ability check-ups should also be part of lives of people above 60.
- Take medication regularly.
For more information on bone health and other physical health log on to our website Old Age Solutions