We have a fantastic guest post this week from writer Carolyn Ridland, the founder of CaregiverConnection. She has provided us with some information about factors, including nutrition, impacting bone health, especially in seniors, and tips to help maintain both health! Therefore, if you are a senior yourself, or have a loved one that is a senior, these tips are worth reading (for more information about Carolyn and why she started caregiver connection, please see her bio at the bottom of the post)!
Bone strength and health is critical to an individual’s mobility and posture. As time progresses, natural age progression, lifestyle choices and a host of illnesses might cause their bones to become susceptible to weakening or damage. That said, there are steps aging persons can employ to ensure their bones are a strong and healthy as possible.
Issues Impacting Bone Health
In addition to age, several other factors could impact the health of an individual’s bones. Common determinants include:
Gender- Women are more likely to develop bone problems than men because they typically possess less bone tissue.
Body Size- Smaller or excessively thin people are at greater risk for bone ailments as they age due to the fact tinier persons have lesser bone mass than larger individuals do.
Hormonal Levels- Many hormones impact bone strength. A deficiency in any one or several hormones could threaten bone health.
Specific Illnesses- Certain digestive or nutrient absorption maladies might interfere with the body’s ability to synthesize nutrients that are paramount to ensuring proper bone maintenance.
Poor Diet- Consuming a diet lacking nutrients vital to bone health could leave the structures vulnerable to illness or injury as someone ages.
The Use Of Specific Medications- Certain drugs like steroids, anti-cancer preparations and anti-seizure treatments could damage or weaken healthy bones.
Methods Seniors Can Employ to Maintain Bone Health
Receive Regular Checkups
Arguably, the most important way of maintaining bone health is to receive regular medical checkups. Such health screenings are especially recommended for persons age 50 or older or in women diagnosed with osteoporosis (loss of bone mass) or who are experiencing or have passed menopause, a naturally-occurring stage in a woman’s life when her reproductive organs cease production of vital hormones. Diminished hormonal production may result in loss of bone mass and ultimately precipitate osteoporosis.
Medical professionals also suggest older persons with a history of moderate or significant alcohol consumption or those who smoked receive frequent bone screenings.
Alcohol consumption and nicotine are thought to elicit bone loss as well.
Among the more common bone screenings is a bone density test, referred to medically as a Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry examination. Beams from an X-ray apparatus measure the strength and density of the recipient’s bones.
Increase Calcium Intake
Members of the medical community suggest that bone-strength can be maintained or increased by consuming products containing calcium. High concentrations of the nutrient can be found in milk. However, it can also be found in other dairy products such as cheese, ice cream, yogurt, legumes like seeds, beans and almonds, fishes including salmon and sardines and certain green vegetables. Calcium intake can also be increased through the ingestion of nutritional supplements.
Regular levels of moderate physical activity is believed to foster growth of bone cells and build muscles. Strong muscles serve as a solid base for bones.
Obtain Adequate Exposure To Sunlight
Vitamin D is crucial to bone maintenance. Though Vitamin D is contained in certain foods people consume, another solid source of the nutrient is the sun’s rays. Sunlight stimulates the body’s ability to absorb Vitamin D.
Limit Intake Of Salt And Caffeine
Overly salted foods such as frozen or processed foods can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium. In addition, heavily caffeinated foods and beverages like carbonated drinks are also believed to slow calcium’s absorption into the body.
Bone health is particularly important in older persons because injuries to the structures can take longer to heal, leave stricken individuals disabled or possibly immobile.
I hope you enjoyed this great guest post this week and would love to hear your thoughts or any actions you take to promote maintenance of your bone health in your day to day life!
Wishing you a week of health, wellness, and strong bones!
–Ricci-Lee Hotz, MS, RDN
Denver’s Dancing Dietitian
A Taste of Health, LLC
“Improving Quality of life one bite at a time”
Carolyn Ridland BIO:
“Hello. My name is Carolyn Ridland, and I am the founder of CaregiverConnection.
About 10 years ago, my parents began reaching the point where they could not be self-sufficient anymore. I was just married with two toddlers, so I felt like I couldn’t take them in, yet I wanted to make sure they were taken care of.
I want to share my story, and let you know that you are not alone if you are in a similar position. Children are expected to take care of their elderly parents when the time comes, but it’s not always that easy.
Caregiver Connection emerged from a place of real love and compassion. We understand the struggle that exists when you care deeply about your loved ones, but you’re faced with decisions you never wanted to make. Our main message is that nobody should have to face these times alone.”