Senior Care in Stamford CT
October 12 – 22 is Bone and Joint Health National Awareness Week. This is a great opportunity to obtain information regarding the musculoskeletal system and the effects that aging has on this system that provides support, stability and movement. As people age, joint cartilage becomes thinner and the ligaments and tendons become brittle. This can lead to decreased range of motion and pain.
Diseases Affecting the Musculoskeletal System
Osteoporosis, a disease characterized by bone loss, can lead to bone fractures as well as vertebral compression fractures and affects 50 percent of the female and 20 percent of the male population over 85 years of age. Osteoarthritis, commonly affecting the hip and knee joints, is very pronounced in those 65-years and older. Both of these diseases lead to loss of mobility and independence among the elderly. The good news is that there are tools available to reduce the risk of developing these illnesses, and to reduce the symptoms once they have occurred.
Causes of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis
Women experience bone loss after menopause because of decreased estrogen production. In addition, a diet deficient in key vitamins and minerals can be a precursor to a musculoskeletal disease. Traumatic injuries or repetitive stress on a particular joint can lead to degenerative arthritis with the effects of pain and reduced mobility not showing up until later in life.
What Can Be Done
There are several measures that can be incorporated into one’s lifestyle that can either play a preventative role or help control the symptoms after a musculoskeletal system disease has struck. Exercise is a vital element as it can add stability by strengthening the muscles that surround the joints. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking and strength training, help to slow bone loss. Diet is another key factor. Make sure that it is rich in calcium and protein by including low fat dairy products, lean proteins, eggs, canned salmon or sardines, and dark leafy greens. Vitamin D, obtained from the sun, is also important for bone health. Maintaining the appropriate weight is an important measure as it relieves pressure on both the knees and hips. When pain does strike, interchanging hot and cold compresses can offer some relief, as well as applying over-the-counter pain cream.
Home Care Providers
If the to-do list seems overwhelming, home care providers can offer assistance. Taking loved ones out for walks, shopping for and preparing healthy meals, and reminding them to take appropriate vitamins or medications are but a few of the key fundamentals that they can provide. If further assistance is needed, light housekeeping, laundry, running errands, and help with dressing and bathing can be incorporated. Just having someone spend time with a loved one developing quality companionship goes a long way in
helping both the parent and the family members feel better.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Stamford, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Stamford, CT at 203-661-6969.