Q: I am a 70 year old woman and my doctor recently diagnosed me with osteoporosis. I’ve been trying to exercise to strengthen my bones and prevent an injury. I live alone. Do you know what else I can do to make sure I don’t get injured?
A: We’re sorry to hear about your diagnosis. You are definitely not alone. Currently, 9 million adults in the U.S. have osteoporosis and another 48 million are at risk for developing the disease. It’s great that you’ve started to exercise; a few other things you can do to keep yourself healthy are, eating lots of fruits and vegetables as well as foods that are rich calcium and vitamin D.
When it comes to staying safe in your home here are a few suggestions;
• Remove rugs
• Use nightlights–especially in hallways, stairs and from your bedroom to your restroom
• Have grab bars installed in your restroom
• Place a nonskid rubber mat in the tub or shower
• Wear shoes with firm, nonskid, non-friction soles
• Ensure walkways are free of clutter
• Don’t climb up on ladders
• Get help- if you feel uncomfortable completing a task ask a loved one or friend for help.
Although you haven’t had any incidents yet, it’s important to keep in mind that because your bones are weak you’re at a heightened risk for a fall. Better safe than sorry!