Seniors, avoid bone fractures by taking preventive steps

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Al Brandenburg Maricopa
Al Brandenburg

Every year, seniors fall and break their hips or other bones and then face serious potential illnesses and possibly death as a result. The latest research finds vitamin D and calcium supplements can reduce the risk of bone fractures.

According to medical experts, people who take vitamin D every day had no significant reduction in the risk of fracture. But treatment combining calcium and vitamin D reduced the risk of hip fracture by 16%, according to the latest study.

Doctors advise that other lifestyle modifications can help lessen the risk of falling and bone injury:

Exercise: 150 minutes of exercise a week, along with gait, balance, functional and resistance training, has been shown to significantly help reduce falls.

Home safety: Make sure your home is clutter-free. Remove throw rugs and cords that can be tripped over.

Mobility aids: If you have a walker or cane, remembering to use it has been found to also help reduce falls.

NEW TECHNOLOGY APPS TO KEEP YOU SAFE

I have personally tried out most of the following apps and am impressed that they are not only free but work with both Android- and Apple-based phones. The apps below, except for the last, are available in your respective app store:

First Aid by Red Cross: Instruction for common first aid emergencies, plus emergency weather app downloads and expert advice for proper safety during tornadoes, earthquakes and floods.

Cairn: Share your planned car trip or hikes with loved ones, calculate your ETA based on speed and altitude and download maps showing cell service availability.

Medisafe Medication Reminder: Get reminders on your phone to take meds or supplements and alerts when supplies are running low. Caregivers get real-time alerts for missed meds and warns of potentially harmful drug interactions.

ICE Medical Standard: A medical alert system informs first responders of your conditions, allergies, medications and emergency medical contact information.

Noonlight: Silently summons help to your exact location with a tap of a button. A trained operator will text and call you back to verify the alarm. If you can’t talk or respond, the app sends 911 an alert including your location, profile info and even your picture.

Snug Safety: Made for people who live alone, this app checks on you at a time of day you select. You press a green checkmark on the app and receive a quote of the day. If you fail to check in, your emergency contacts are immediately notified. (Available at SnugSafe.com)

Al Brandenburg is a director of the Maricopa Senior Coalition.

Sources: Everyday Health, AARP, NCBI resources-MDPI

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This column appears in the October issue of InMaricopa magazine.