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Home Care for Osteoporosis

by Richard Bitner
Home Care for Osteoporosis

As we grow older, bone health becomes increasingly important. That’s especially true for seniors coping with osteoporosis and those at high risk of developing it. If you provide home care for a family member who is dealing with osteoporosis, it’s important that you know how to manage the difficulties and risks of this condition. Home Care for Osteoporosis

To help, the team at Visiting Angels has put together this short guide to home care for osteoporosis. In it, we’ve included many of the same guidelines that our professional caregivers follow when caring for seniors with osteoporosis. We hope you’ll find this information useful in caring for your own family member. Home Care for Osteoporosis

Understanding Osteoporosis

Caring for someone with osteoporosis starts with understanding their condition. Osteoporosis is a condition where a person loses bone tissue, causing bones to become weaker and more fragile. Weaker bones can make day-to-day activities difficult, and it greatly increases the likelihood of bone fracture.

This condition has three main causes: hormonal changes (usually due to old age), calcium deficiency, and vitamin D deficiency. Osteoporosis can be triggered by just one of these causes, or by a combination of them. Osteoporosis cannot be cured, but it can be managed. Home Care for Osteoporosis

Your best resource for managing your loved one’s osteoporosis will be your loved one’s doctor. Always follow doctor’s orders when caring for your loved one and never be afraid to ask questions about how you can improve your loved one’s care.

Fall & Fracture Prevention

The greatest concern when caring for someone with osteoporosis is the risk of fall or fracture. As a home care provider for a senior with osteoporosis, you can reduce their risk of falling by improving the safety of your loved one’s home environment.

To reduce the risk of fall and fracture, eliminate tripping and slipping hazards. Keep electrical cords out of the way, eliminate clutter, and install non-slip stickers on slippery tile floors. Install grab bars next to the toilet and in the shower. Improve visibility by installing new lights — particularly near steps and stairs. And encourage your loved one to wear footwear with non-slip soles.

Boosting Protein, Calcium & Vitamin D Intake

Osteoporosis cannot be reversed, but it’s possible to slow down the rate of bone tissue loss. You can do this by ensuring that your loved one gets the nutrients he or she needs to maintain strong bones, including high intake of protein, calcium, and vitamin D.

As a home care provider, you can help your loved one live a bone-healthy lifestyle by shopping for groceries, planning meals, and preparing food. Consider including the following calcium-rich and protein-rich foods in your loved one’s diet:

Calcium-Rich Foods

  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Tofu and soy products
  • Nuts
  • Supplements* (if diet alone is not enough)


Protein-Rich Foods

  • Eggs
  • Salmon
  • Chicken
  • Tofu and soy products
  • Nuts

Your loved one can soak up some vitamin D by spending 30 to 45 minutes enjoying the sun each day.

Lifestyle & Osteoporosis Care

Lifestyle plays a major role in osteoporosis care. There are significant steps that you and your loved one can take to manage the symptoms and risks of osteoporosis and to slow its rate of advancement. Many of these lifestyle suggestions also carry a range of further benefits for your loved one’s health.

Three of the most common lifestyle changes suggested for those with osteoporosis are related to weight, smoking, and drinking. Seniors who are underweight or overweight are at increased risk of fracture, and it is recommended that seniors pursue a healthy weight to reduce the chance of broken bones.
While it’s always a good idea to cut back on smoking and excessive drinking, this is especially true for seniors with osteoporosis. Smoking can drastically speed up bone tissue loss. Meanwhile, alcohol is linked to bone loss and can increase the risk of falls.

Regular light exercise also plays a big role in managing osteoporosis. Light exercise increases bone strength and improves coordination, reducing the likelihood of trips and slips that could lead to fracture. Walking, gardening and tai chi are all good exercises for bone health.

Professional Osteoporosis Home Care

If you need a helping hand caring for your loved one or are worried about leaving them on their own during the day, you might want to consider professional home care. Professional in-home care, such as the services offered by your local Visiting Angels, can make it easier to look after a family member who is coping with osteoporosis and encourage a bone-healthy lifestyle.

For a free home care consultation, contact your local Visiting Angels office.
* Before taking supplements, please consult with your loved one’s doctor.

Home Care for Osteoporosis

Home Care for Osteoporosis

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