As time passes, many seniors spend more time sitting than they used to and less time moving and participating in physical activities. Unfortunately, this can lead to problems in seniors’ bone and joint health that cause pain, inflammation, and deformities in their hips, knees, and fingers, which then jeopardizes their freedom and independence.
Two of the most common bone and joint health problems seniors experience are:
Due to the aging process or osteoporosis, bones lose calcium and other essential minerals, leaving them more brittle and easier to break.
This is caused by the wearing down of joint cartilage over time. It results in joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.
The physical changes caused by bone and joint problems can make routine tasks of daily living very challenging for a senior. Simple things they used to do, like getting in and out of the bathtub, buttoning a shirt, or running the vacuum cleaner, can become extremely difficult and painful.
Keeping Bones and Joints Healthy
Although we can’t stop the aging process, there are several ways to improve senior bone and joint health:
Daily exercise and stretching
low-impact exercises like yoga, water aerobics, swimming, and walking help strengthen bones and promote joint flexibility.
Diets rich in essential vitamins and minerals have been shown to markedly improve bone and joint health in seniors. Make sure your senior loved one gets plenty of Vitamin D, calcium, and protein. Supplements like chondroitin and glucosamine also can help joint swelling and tightness, which will improve their flexibility.
Plenty of sleep
Most seniors function best after 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep every night. Biochemicals that help repair inflamed muscles and joints are produced while they sleep, which increases their energy levels and makes it easier for them to stay physically active.
OTC and prescription medications
Over-the-counter pain meds like acetaminophen and ibuprofen help relieve joint pain caused by overuse or arthritis. There are also prescription drugs available that help prevents osteoporosis and prevent further bone loss.
A healthy lifestyle
Living a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, or being overweight negatively affect bone and joint health. Becoming more active, maintaining a healthy weight, and quitting smoking can dramatically improve how a senior feels, often within a month of making lifestyle changes.
Seniors Prefer Homecare Can Help
Our caregivers at Seniors Prefer Homecare can help your seniors with their bone and joint health. They can help your loved one stay active physically, eat a healthy, balanced diet, take medications on schedule, and make sure they get the sleep they need.
If your senior loved one living in the Huntsville or Tuscaloosa areas, we’d be happy to help them continue to enjoy the comforts of home. We offer compassionate care at affordable rates. Contact us today for more information.