Osteoporosis is a condition that causes a person’s bone structure to weaken when bone mineral density and bone mass decreases or when the structure and strength of bones changes. It most commonly affects people aged 65 and over and can lead to painful fractures, a loss of mobility, and a lower quality of life.
One of the biggest challenges faced by 65+ osteoporosis patients is the increased risk of falls and fractures. Weakened bones can make even simple movements such as standing up or walking a hazard. As a result, patients may become fearful of leaving their homes or engaging in activities they once enjoyed. This can lead to social isolation and a decreased sense of well-being.
Making simple modifications to your home can improve safety and comfort
Modifying an older adult's home is one way to improve life with osteoporosis. This can include making changes to the living environment that reduces the risk of falls and fractures. Examples of simple modifications are adding grab bars in the bathroom, reinforcing handrails on stairs, and removing loose carpets or rugs. These modifications can give older adults the confidence to move around their homes and engage in daily activities without the fear of falling.
While safety can be top of mind for adults living with osteoporosis, another challenge is the management of chronic pain. Fractures can be very painful and take a long time to heal, which can significantly impact a patient's quality of life. Additionally, osteoporosis can cause chronic pain in other areas of the body, such as the back or hips.
Home modifications can also help manage this pain. For example, a lift chair or recliner can make it easier for patients to get up and down from a seated position, reducing strain on the back and hips. Adding soft cushions or pillows to chairs and beds can also help alleviate pressure points and reduce discomfort. Walk-in showers or tubs offer a safer option for bathing while stairlifts can make it easier and safer for a person to go between floors.
In conclusion, osteoporosis can be a challenging condition for 65+ patients to manage. Modifying a patient's home can improve their quality of life by reducing the risk of falls and fractures, managing chronic pain, and helping them maintain their independence and mobility. By addressing these challenges, patients can continue to live fulfilling lives as they age.