As we get older, our bones can become more fragile, increasing the risk of fractures, pain, and reduced mobility. Healthy bones are essential for staying active and maintaining independence. At Home Care Assistance Sunshine Coast, our Aged Care Professionals see firsthand the impact of fragile bones and work to help clients keep their bones strong. Here are some strategies to maintain healthy bones as you age.

Ensure Adequate Calcium Intake

Calcium is crucial for bone strength, with 99% of the body’s calcium stored in the bones. Adults aged 71 and older should aim for about 1,100mg of calcium daily, though many fall short. Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are excellent sources. For those who avoid dairy, plant-based milks, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and tofu are good alternatives. If dietary calcium is insufficient, consult your GP about supplements.

Maintain Sufficient Vitamin D Levels

Vitamin D is vital for calcium absorption. Sun exposure helps produce vitamin D, but this becomes less effective with age. Additionally, sun exposure may be limited in winter. Vitamin D can also be obtained from fatty fish, fortified foods, and egg yolks. If your levels are low, discuss supplements with your doctor.

Follow a Balanced Diet

While calcium and vitamin D are critical, other nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and vitamins C and K also support bone health. A balanced diet ensures you get these nutrients. If shopping and cooking are challenging, Home Care Assistance can help with meal planning, shopping, and preparation to ensure a healthy diet.

Avoid Smoking and Limit Alcohol

Smoking and excessive alcohol harm bone health. Quitting smoking, even later in life, benefits your bones. If you need help quitting, talk to your GP or contact a support organisation like Quit. Limit alcohol to one drink per day and seek help if you need support to reduce consumption.

Exercise Regularly

Weight-bearing and strength training exercises help maintain bone density. Activities like walking, dancing, and climbing stairs are effective weight-bearing exercises. Aim for 30 minutes most days of the week, and incorporate strength training 2-3 times weekly with weights or resistance bands. If you need support, an Aged Care Professional can assist with transport to exercise centers or provide encouragement at home.

Keep Up with Medical Checkups

Regular checkups should include bone health assessments and monitoring calcium and vitamin D levels. Early detection and treatment of issues can prevent complications. Discuss with your GP if any medications affect bone health and seek advice on minimising their impact.

Maintaining bone health is crucial for overall well-being and independence. By following these tips, you can help keep your bones strong. Home Care Assistance Sunshine Coast is here to support you with exercise encouragement, meal preparation, and transportation to medical appointments.

Support from a home care agency like Home Care Assistance can significantly enhance your quality of life while living independently. For more information, contact us today.