5 Ways to Boost Spine Health in the Senior Years

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Though people can develop spine disorders at any age, these conditions can be especially challenging to diagnose and manage past age 65. The related aches and pains are often mistaken for other ailments, and certain age-related conditions can make it difficult for some seniors to take the necessary steps to protect their spines. Here are a few ways your elderly loved one can maintain a healthy spine later in life.

1. Prevent Fractures

Spine fractures, often referred to as compression fractures, make it difficult to walk, stand, bend, or twist the body and are common in older men and women with osteoporosis. Your loved one can prevent osteoporosis and reduce the risk of spine fractures by consuming more protein, calcium, and vitamin D, limiting soft drink consumption, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol, and staying physically active.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

2. Get Plenty of Sleep

Aging may cause your loved one’s sleeping patterns to change, but he or she needs to maintain good sleep hygiene to maintain a healthy spine. Getting eight hours of sleep per night can help the body repair itself and stay strong. 

It’s also a good idea for your loved one to sleep on his or her side because sleeping on the stomach puts too much pressure on the spine. Flip and turn your loved one’s mattress on a regular basis to help it wear evenly and increase his or her chances of a better night’s sleep.

3. Stay Hydrated

To maintain fluidity in the joints and elasticity in the soft tissues, your loved one should drink plenty of water and other fluids. When seniors become dehydrated, their spinal discs become vulnerable and can lose height. The more your loved one’s discs shrink, the more pain he or she is likely to experience, and the risk of ruptures and bulges may also be higher. However, by staying hydrated, your loved one can maintain optimal spine health.

4. Lift Carefully

The way your loved one lifts everyday items can cause damage to his or her spine. Encourage your loved one to use his or her lower body strength when moving small objects. For larger objects, your loved one should wait until someone else is around to help with the lifting. It’s also important to keep the back straight when lifting and sitting to prevent the body from twisting and damaging the spine.

Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Montgomery respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities. 

5. Seek Help from a Doctor

Many seniors ignore the warning signs of an unhealthy spine instead of getting help before the situation becomes worse. Older adults commonly experience back pain, but this pain can also be an indication of serious spine disorders. If your loved one is experiencing any sort of back pain, he or she should speak with a doctor immediately to determine if it’s an issue with the spine and receive the correct treatment for the symptoms. 

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Montgomery at-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (334) 593-3988 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services. 


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