For many elderly people, osteoporosis is a reality. While this is generally not a severe issue, it can cause significant discomfort and issues for nursing home residents. It is important that if your loved one has osteoporosis they get proper care and treatment. On this page, I will explain this proper care to make sure that your loved one remains comfortable in the nursing home.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a medical condition that affects those in middle age or elderly people. This condition causes bones to get brittle and weak, which means that they are more likely to break or fracture. A lack of estrogen, calcium, and the body’s absorption of more bones than it can create can cause osteoporosis. For these reasons, osteoporosis is most common in elderly women; however, it is possible for men to suffer from this condition as well.
If your loved one has not yet been diagnosed with osteoporosis, it becomes the responsibility of the nursing home staff to diagnose this problem. It can be difficult to identify osteoporosis, but common symptoms include:
- Collapsed vertebra.
- Back pain.
- Loss of height.
- Loss of muscle mass.
- Easily broken or fractured bones.
A doctor can use these symptoms to diagnose this illness with:
- A CT scan, which can show thinning bones or fractures.
- An x-ray, which can reveal broken bones.
- Blood tests, which will reveal calcium, estrogen, and vitamin D levels.
- Urine tests, which will also reveal calcium, estrogen, and vitamin D levels.
- Bone density tests to compare your bone density to the norm for your age group, height, gender, weight, etc.
If your loved one has this illness, actions certain action mitigate this condition’s effects. The nursing home staff should help your loved one by:
- Making sure that they eat food high in calcium. Calcium is an important part of maintaining bone strength. Your loved one’s meal plan should improve healthy foods that contain a lot of calcium such as broccoli, dairy, and lean meats.
- Making sure that they get plenty of vitamin D. Vitamin D is another important aspect of minimizing osteoporosis. Your loved one can get more vitamin D by being exposed to sunlight, taking a vitamin D supplement, or eating foods that are high in this vitamin.
- Regular exercise. Exercise can make bones stronger, which can prevent breaks and fractures.
- Avoid alcohol and cigarettes. These substances can weaken the body and bones. Avoiding them is a good idea for anyone with osteoporosis.
It is the responsibility of nursing home staff to treat your loved one’s osteoporosis. If you feel that your loved one’s condition has worsened because staff members have neglected your loved one, you might have a personal injury case. You can learn more by contacting an attorney.