How to Help Older Adults Build Strong Muscles & Bones

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As people age, their muscles and bones begin to lose strength, which puts them at a greater risk for osteoporosis, broken bones, and the many complications that come with these issues. Weak muscles can increase the chances of falling, which can lead to loss of mobility and in some cases death. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help your elderly loved one increase muscle and bone strength.

Serve Nutritious Foods 

The body requires calcium and vitamin D to maintain bone strength. Make sure your loved one is eating plenty of foods packed with these nutrients. Most dairy products have plenty of calcium, but you can also find it in almonds, kale, oranges, broccoli, sardines, and many other healthy foods. For strong muscles, make sure your loved one eats plenty of protein, which can be found in foods like chicken, fish, beef, pork, turkey, eggs, yogurt, lentils, almonds, beans, and oats.

Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your loved one needs help preparing nutritious meals. In Wellesley, elder care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Encourage Exercise 

Physical activity builds strong muscles and bones. Any type of weight-bearing exercise can build strong muscles, but it also puts pressure on the bones attached to those muscles, forcing them to regenerate. Encourage your loved one to stay active with activities like walking, weightlifting, dancing, using elliptical machines, swimming, biking, doing yoga, or playing tennis. If your loved one already has osteoporosis or is at risk for falling, stick to low-impact exercises to be on the safe side, and make sure he or she is exercising the entire body. 

Osteoporosis is a serious medical condition that can affect your loved one’s health and overall quality of life. Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors who require extensive 24-hour care. Wellesley Home Care Assistance provides trusted caregivers 24/7 to ensure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Cut Back on Caffeine and Alcohol

If your loved one enjoys coffee or soda, it may be time to cut back. Studies have shown consuming too much caffeine can affect the way the bones absorb calcium. Encourage your loved one to drink no more than one cup of coffee or soda a day. Heavy alcohol consumption may have a similar impact on the ability to absorb vitamin D. It is recommended that men drink no more than two cups of alcohol per day, while women should only have one cup per day. 

Discourage Smoking

Smoking doesn’t just negatively impact the lungs and respiratory system. It can also affect the bones, especially in the senior years. Like caffeine, nicotine prevents the body from absorbing a proper amount of calcium, which can lead to low bone density. 

Get Plenty of Sunlight

The more your loved one’s skin is exposed to the sun, the more vitamin D he or she will absorb in most cases. People with darker skin may not absorb as much as those with lighter pigmentation. Encourage your loved one to soak up some rays by inviting him or her out to the park, beach, or a backyard barbecue. Help your loved one start a new outdoor hobby like gardening, or set up a comfortable spot where he or she can read while sitting in the yard.

Muscle weakness and fragile bones are just some of the many health issues individuals may encounter in their senior years. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality in-home care. Wellesley families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. To learn about our high-quality in-home care plans, give us a call at (781) 239-0060 today.

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