At Discovery Villages, we help our Senior Citizens find the best ways to improve their physical and emotional well being through our award-winning wellness programs. We support our older adults by taking into consideration the issues that matter most to them. Talk to our staff at Discovery Villages today about all the ways we can help you or your loved one improve their overall wellness and health. C
About ten million Americans suffer from Osteoporosis. Known as the “silent” disease, most people do not know they have Osteoporosis until a bone breaks. Osteoporosis, meaning “porous bone,” happens when the creation of new bone tissue does not keep up with the removal of old bone, causing bones to break easily. Senior Citizens are most likely to suffer from Osteoporosis.
In particular, women tend to lose the greatest amount of bone loss in the years during Menopause, and they are at the greatest risk for developing Osteoporosis. Other women who might likely suffer from the disease include:
- Caucasian and Asian Women
- Women with smaller frames
- Women who have had their ovaries removed before Menopause
- Women with a family history of Osteoporosis or bone loss
- Women who have broken a bone during adulthood
- Women with early Menopause
- Women who have had a calcium deficiency
- Women who have had to be on bed rest for an extended period of time
- Women who have used certain medications for a long period of time
Some symptoms of Osteoporosis include:
- Hunched Posture
- Getting bone fractures easily and frequently
- Shrinking Height
- Back Pain caused by a collapsed vertebra or fracture
Don’t wait for your bones to get brittle or break until you do something about bone loss. Senior Citizens can help reverse bone loss by engaging in a healthy lifestyle and eating nutritiously. Below are some ways to prevent bone loss and Osteoporosis.
Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Calcium- Calcium is needed to keep bones healthy and strong. Women over age 50 should get 1200 milligrams of calcium every day. Men, ages 51-70 should get 1000 milligrams per day. After 70 years of age, men should get 1200 milligrams of calcium. Try to get adequate calcium from nutrition, but Calcium supplements can also be taken.
Vitamin D- Vitamin D is essential for Osteoporosis prevention, as it improves Calcium absorption in the body. Again, try getting Vitamin D from nutrition and the sun, but adults can typically start taking about 600-800 international units a day. D3 has been shown to be more effective than D2, so be sure to get a Vitamin D3 supplement. Ask a doctor how much Vitamin D to take.
Whole foods from the earth have wonderful healing and prevention properties for Bone Loss and Osteoporosis. Make sure to eat those fruits and veggies for Bone Loss prevention! Below is a list of foods to make sure to incorporate in your diet:
Foods with Calcium:
- Dark, leafy, green Vegetables- Kale, Spinach, Collard Greens, Broccoli, Bok Choy
- Sardines and Salmon
- Chia Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- White Beans
- Dried Figs
- Turnip Greens
- Dairy Foods, such as Milk and Cheese
Foods with Vitamin D:
- Seafood, especially Wild Alaskan Salmon
- Egg yolks (Pasture-Raised Chickens spend more time outdoors, so opt for these eggs)
- Dairy Products, such as Milk that are Whole or Fortified with Vitamin D
- Fortified Vitamin D foods, including orange juice and breakfast cereals
Studies have shown that the forms of exercise below can increase Bone Mineral Density. Talk to a Physical Therapist or other healthcare professional about which form of exercise is right for you, especially if you injure easily.
Weight Bearing Exercises can help strengthen bones. Choose a weight bearing activity or exercise you enjoy, such as aerobics, tennis, jogging, dancing, Tai Chi, and more.
Balance, Coordination and Flexibility Exercises can help prevent falls that cause bones to break. Gentle yoga, pilates, Tai Chi and Feldenkrais can all be great ways to keep balance and coordination. These forms of exercise also can help improve posture.
Muscle Strengthening Exercises can slow the loss of bone mineral density. Some examples may include free weight, weight machines, elastic exercise bands and even functional movements such as standing and elevating your toes.
Healthy Lifestyle Prevention
- Get outside in the Sun- Vitamin D is essential for Osteoporosis prevention. Getting adequate Vitamin D can be remedied with a little sun! A mere 10-15 minutes of sunshine twice a week can improve Vitamin D levels. If wearing sun protection, Vitamin D tablets may need to be taken as supplements.
- Do not smoke
- Avoid excess drinking
- Join a community to support you in improving your bone density. At Discovery Villages, there are many ways to lead an active and engaging lifestyle that can help support your overall health and wellbeing!
Discovery Village At West End offers a variety of senior living programs to keep seniors healthy and active. Learn about our senior living options and amenities today when you contact us at 804.375.4292.