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How to Reduce the Risk of Hip Fractures in the Elderly

Hip fractures are common in seniors and can affect mobility. While building bone mass in early adulthood helps reduce the risk for hip fractures, there are still things seniors can do now to maintain their health and independence.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elderly home care. Westfield families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

You can help your loved one prevent hip fractures by taking these measures.

Increase Calcium and Vitamin D Intake

Seniors sometimes decrease their calcium and vitamin D levels because they avoid dairy products with high fat content. However, your loved one should be consuming approximately 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day. Fortunately, he or she does not have to consume large amounts of dairy products to meet this quota. Talk to your loved one’s physician about supplements and consider healthier sources of calcium such as spinach, kale, and broccoli.

Encourage Them to Quit Smoking and Drinking

Tobacco and alcohol are linked to reduced bone density. These substances also contribute to malnutrition, which could lower your loved one’s calcium levels. Seniors who consume excessive alcohol are also more likely to fall due to dizziness and lack of muscle coordination. If your loved one is addicted to alcohol, talk to him or her about enrolling in a support group for older adults.

Strengthen Balance and Bones with Exercise

Regular workouts could also help seniors prevent hip fractures because exercises such as walking help build and retain bone mass. You can also include balance exercises in your loved one’s daily routine. For instance, leg lifts strengthen the core muscles that prevent falls.

Conduct a Home Check

Falling typically precedes a hip fracture, and your loved one’s home may have hazards that increase the chances of falling. Spend a few minutes walking through your loved one’s home to look for potential problem areas such as tile by the bathtub that needs a nonskid mat. Clear walking paths of tripping hazards such as pet toys, cords, or furniture legs. If your loved one uses a mobility device, make sure the walking path is clear enough for him or her to pass through easily. Installing motion-activated lights in the hallways also reduces the probability of your loved one falling at night.

Seniors with Alzheimer’s are likely to wander at night, and they are at risk for fall-related injuries. Every senior living with Alzheimer’s deserves high-quality Alzheimer’s home care. Westfield, NJ, families can rely on the caregivers at Home Care Assistance to keep their loved ones safe while managing the symptoms of the disease. Using our Cognitive Therapeutics Method, our caregivers help seniors regain a sense of pride and accomplishment while slowing the rate of cognitive decline.

Discuss New Medications

Certain medications such as those used for post-cancer treatment can increase the risk for osteoporosis. For this reason, it is important to speak with your loved one’s physician to find out if your loved one needs regular testing such as bone density screenings to minimize the risk. You should also be aware of any side effects of new medications that increase the risk of falling so you can provide assistance with your loved one’s routine.

Families who need additional assistance caring for an elderly loved one should consider hiring a professional home caregiver. Westfield, NJ, seniors and their families trust in Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality in-home care on an as-needed basis. Our caregivers take pride in helping seniors remain healthy while promoting their quality of life. To learn about our senior care plans, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 908.450.9400.