Doctors Pushing 'Bone Health' as a Way for Retirees to Remain Active


As Baby Boomers age, the new science of 'Bone Health' aims to prevent the bone fractures which so often slow down elderly people and can lead to an early death, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

At the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, Nurse Practitioner Kate Sheeran says bone heath is super important as Baby Boomers bypass the traditional rocking chair for a retirement of traveling, hang gliding, and, in many cases, continuing to work.

"Up to thirty percent of patients who have an hip fracture unfortunately die within a year of the fracture," she said.

That's why orthopaedic surgeons are recommending a regimen of bone health to make sure those bones are capable of withstanding the normal bumps and bruises that come with an active retirement.

"Some of the important things they can do, include getting enough calcium and Vitimin 'D' in their their diet, participating in weight bearing exercises, nothing crazy like Cross-Fit, but some simple strengthening, balance, and flexibility."

She says the goal is to fight osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones that affects some 200 million people worldwide.  Osteoporosis can have a 'significant impact on people's lives,' and Sheeran says it is likely to put a retiree where he or she doesn't want to be.

"They need help with bathing and dressing, and, if they have stairs in their home, it is often not possible to go home right away until they are able to navigate those stairs."

She says the problem is often the first sign of osteoporosis is a serious broken bone, like a wrist, spine, or hip.

Bone Health advocates encourage screening for osteoporosis as part of the regular checkup, including bone measurement testing.  Sheeran says the procedure is particularly important for women, because women have a tendancy to have lighter bones, which means they are more  susceptible to osteoporosis.

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