Falls can be serious for the elderly

Nov 29, 2010

Muscle-strengthening exercises can make bones stronger

Bones can become weaker as people age and develop osteoporosis. In some cases, a person may not be aware that they have the condition until they break a bone. Osteoporosis affects 55 percent of people over the age of 50, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

In older people, a fall can have serious repercussions. The Foundation for Education and Musculoskeletal Research says falls result in 600,000 deaths a year in Illinois.

FEMR founder and CEO Dr. Jimenez says that falls can be avoided.

"We need to start educating older adults and their caretakers and families about ways to diagnose and treat osteoporosis to minimize the risk of a loved one falling and injuring themselves," says Jimenez. "Through screening and treatment of osteoporosis, and getting the proper nutrition and daily physical activity, the risk of falling and breaking bones is significantly reduced."

FEMR recommends people make sure to keep their floors clutter-free and use rugs with skid-proof backs to help avoid falls.

Getting appropriate amounts of calcium and vitamin D, in addition to completing muscle-strengthening exercises, can help prevent osteoporosis. Being fit can also help people save on their health and life insurance.

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