When left untreated, dowager’s hump may result in decreased physical activity, difficulty sleeping, breathing disorders, and a loss of independence. Although this condition can be caused by genetic disorders and certain types of medication, many seniors develop spinal protrusions because of their lifestyles. Seniors who strengthen their muscles and increase their bone density can greatly reduce their risk of developing dowager’s hump.
Consume More Calcium
Osteoporosis causes the bones to become brittle, and it’s one of the leading causes of dowager’s hump. This condition is especially common among menopausal and postmenopausal women because of a drop in their estrogen production. On average, senior women should try to consume around 1,800 milligrams of calcium per day to increase bone density. Before taking calcium supplements, seniors should first speak with their doctors to make sure the dosage won’t interact negatively with any of their other medications.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elder care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.
Strengthen the Back
Weak back muscles are another major risk factor for this spinal condition. Strong muscles pull the spine, shoulders, chest, and skull into their correct positions. Back extensions, bridges, and lunges can strengthen the muscles that keep the back straight. Seniors who can’t carry out those exercises should speak with trainers about alternatives, such as swimming and using elastic bands. Many studies show regular exercise also increases bone density.
In addition to strengthening the major muscle groups, seniors must increase their flexibility as well. When back and neck muscles are tight, the chest collapses inward as the shoulders pull forward. Yoga is a great option for seniors who have already started to develop dowager’s hump or another spinal condition. Some of the most popular styles of yoga focus on proper alignment of the backbone and good posture. Before and after each exercise session, older adults should spend at least 10 to 15 minutes stretching all the major muscle groups, including the hamstrings and calves.
Seniors who need assistance with yoga, exercise, or other daily activities can benefit from professional in-home care. For many seniors in Rowlett, Texas, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.
Switch from Trans Fats to Healthy Oils
Trans fat molecules are created by infusing liquefied fats with hydrogen atoms, and this artificial byproduct is extremely bad for the bones. Cookies, doughnuts, pies, breakfast sandwiches, fries, fried chicken, and chips almost always contain trans fats. Eating too many trans fats increases an individual’s risk of chronic inflammation near the neck and spine. Switching to avocado or olive oil can increase bone density and reduce overall calorie intake.
Set Alarms to Correct Posture
Remembering to sit up straight and activate the abdominal muscles isn’t always easy for older adults. Those who are having a difficult time remembering to maintain correct posture should set regular alarms on a nearby clock or phone. Every 15 or 20 minutes, they should try to adjust their posture so the shoulders are pushed back and the chin is up. As time goes on and their posture gets better, they can eventually set the alarms for longer intervals.
Caring for a loved one with dowager’s hump or another physical condition can be challenging for family members. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and are looking for professional elder care, Rowlett Home Care Assistance should be your top choice. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are committed to helping older adults manage their health and enjoy a higher quality of life in the golden years. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your parent, give us a call at (972) 722-7833 today.