Kelly Wolf: I'm here to discuss bone fracture risks and how to keep your bones healthy, especially as you age. We all know that a healthy body is not possible without having strong and healthy bones. They are a powerful indicator of our physiological age in overall health. Yet we probably don't think enough about this critical part of our anatomy and the important things we should do to maintain maximum bone health.
Also, most people do not realize that bone health is about more than bone density. After age 30, bone density declines normally as we age. Yet for seniors, bone density is not always the most reliable indicator of risk for fractures. Additional risk factors include family history such as whether your mother suffered a hip fracture; also your height can be a factor.
Did you know that women are at higher risk? Other risk factors are weighing less than you did at age 25 and having poor vision. Also if you need your arms to get out of a chair, you have twice the fracture risk of those who can stand up effortlessly.
While there has been a rapid increase in the use of bone boosting medications, there are three nonmedical areas where your personal choices make a big difference; diet, physical activity and lifestyle factors.
First, include plenty of calcium in your diet. Ask your doctor about supplements including vitamin D if necessary. Second, include physical activity in your daily routine, especially weight-bearing exercises such as walking, climbing stairs, golf or tennis or even jogging if you can and finally, avoid smoking and alcohol abuse.
If a fracture does happen, post surgical physical therapy is often prescribed to help speed recovery. In-home physical therapy with a home care agency can be especially beneficial, indeed necessary if you have difficulty getting to a clinic without assistance.
In fact, if you are a senior, Medicare will generally cover the cost of in-home rehab if your doctor has prescribed it you need help from others to get to an appointment and the choosing agency that's Medicare certified. Prevention as always is the best approach, so be sure to keep your bones healthy and strong.