Maintaining healthy bones is extremely important for seniors. Brittle and weak bones can lead to osteoporosis, impaired balance, mobility problems, and a greater risk of falling. In this blog post from Senior Helpers Tempe, we'll discuss ways of improving bone health after age 65 and how you can reduce the chances of developing osteoporosis or fracturing a bone as an elderly adult.
Benefits of Healthy Bones
To start, let's look at the benefits of keeping bones healthy after age 65.
- Reduced Risk of Fractures. Weakened and brittle bones can lead to frequent fracturing over time, especially in the hip or wrist area. Keeping your bones strong will help reduce your chances of suffering a fracture or break as an older adult.
- Reduced Risk of Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is when there are significant weak spots in the bone caused by calcium loss over time. Taking measures such as exercise and nutrition to prevent it from developing is important for seniors who want to stay active and avoid injury.
- Improved Balance and Mobility. Strong muscles are more capable of supporting one's body weight, leading to improved balance control and mobility. This decreases the likelihood that falls will occur due to unstable positioning during movement, which could be fatal for seniors with fragile bones!
Ways to Support a Senior's Bone Strength
1. Good Nutrition
Eating a nutrient-rich diet is important for keeping bones healthy, especially in elderly individuals who may have difficulty absorbing certain vitamins and minerals. Focus on foods that contain:
- Calcium and Vitamin D. This includes yogurt, salmon, fortified cereals/orange juice, almonds, kale, and soy products like tofu.
- Protein. Lean meats such as chicken or fish can provide protein which helps to maintain strong bones.
- Vitamin K. Leafy greens such as spinach, broccoli, asparagus, and Swiss chard all contain vitamin K, which is essential for maintaining overall bone health.
- Magnesium. Avocado, nuts, beans, legumes, whole grains, dark chocolate, and blackstrap molasses all supply magnesium, which helps maintain calcium levels in the body for stronger bones.
2. Proper Exercise
Weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging, tai chi, and yoga (coupled with resistance exercises like strength training) will result in dense, resilient bones. Seniors that keep their joints active through their golden years increase stability and lower their risk of falls.
3. Lifestyle Changes
- Quit smoking. Smoking accelerates the breakdown of bone tissue, leading to a greater risk of fractures over time.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Drinking too much alcohol can deplete calcium levels in the body.
- Avoid excessive caffeine. Caffeine leeches out vital antioxidants from the body. You need these antioxidants to help your bones stay healthy and strong.
Learn How Our Compassionate In-Home Caregivers Can Help Your Senior Thrive
Weakening bones can lead to health challenges for many seniors. Luckily, with a few lifestyle changes, seniors can keep their bones healthy and their bodies active far into their golden years! Our in-home caregivers can help your senior stick to a regular exercise routine, keep their diet nutritious and full of minerals known to support bone health, and more. Senior Helpers Tempe can support your senior's health in Tempe, Ahwatukee, Mesa, Chandler, South Phoenix, Central Phoenix, Arcadia, Biltmore, Laveen, Sun Lakes, Queen Creek, Gilbert, San Tan Valley, Casa Grande, and Maricopa. For more information on our services, contact us today!