Anna’s mother, Susan, had always been active. But lately, she seemed to be slowing down. She often complained of aches and pains in her joints, especially her back. At first, both women just attributed the problem to old age. However, as time went on, Susan started to develop a stooped posture. Anna knew it was time to schedule an appointment with the doctor. They learned that Susan had osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a common disease that affects 24.5 percent of older women and 5.1 percent of older men. Knowing more about the disease and its symptoms may help you to spot it in your aging relative.
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bone tissue to weaken, making it brittle and easy to break. In fact, bones become so weak that even a slight bump can cause them to fracture. The weakening of the bone tissue happens when the body is no longer able to produce new bone cells fast enough to replace the ones that naturally die off.
Osteoporosis affects both men and women, though women are more likely to get the disease than men. Other risk factors include:
Age: As people age, they are more likely to develop the disease.
Family History: People who have a sibling or parent that was diagnosed with osteoporosis are more likely to get the disease.
Race: People who are of Caucasian or Asian descent develop osteoporosis more often than people of other races.
Body Frame: People with smaller frames get osteoporosis more often because they have less bone tissue, to begin with.
When the body first starts to lose bone tissue, there usually are no symptoms. As the disease worsens, you may notice:
- Pain in the back, which occurs because vertebrae collapse due to bone tissue breaking down.
- Getting gradually shorter.
- A bent or stooped posture.
- Broken bones that occur much more easily than normal. For example, ribs may fracture just from coughing.
Even if your parent isn’t currently exhibiting symptoms of osteoporosis, it’s a good idea to talk to their doctor about their risks.
Treating the condition early can prevent serious complications, such as hip fractures that may lead to disability.
If your parent is diagnosed with osteoporosis, elder care can help them to better manage the disease. An elder care provider can remind them to take medications and supplements recommended by the doctor. An elder care provider can also assist your elderly parent to move safely around the house and out in public, preventing falls and bone breaks.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Homecare in Grass Valley, CA, talk to the caring staff at Partners in Care today. Serving El Dorado, Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, Sacramento, Placer, Butte, Glenn, Yolo, & Colusa Counties! Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (530) 268-7423
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