Falls become more of a risk as people age, and they are often the cause of broken bones for the elderly. In nursing homes, fall prevention should be a priority. However, not all bone fractures are the result of falls. According to WebMD, every year there are approximately 1.5 million bone fractures due to osteoporosis. The most common bones broken are in the spine, hips and wrists. Nursing home staff have a responsibility to protect residents who are more likely to experience fractures, and there are many preventative measures that can be taken.
Providing opportunities for exercise can help strengthen muscles, build bone tissue and improve coordination and reflexes. WebMD states that getting good nutrition including foods with calcium and vitamin D is one way that residents with osteoporosis can slow bone loss. There are also medications and supplements that are effective at treating osteoporosis. It is important for every person in a nursing home to have a personalized care plan that is reviewed regularly. From approving daily activities and exercise regimens to assessing the effects of prescribed medications, health care providers play an essential role in ensuring the safety of each resident.
Some bone fractures are inevitable. Many older people must take medications with side effects that weaken bones, as well. Common diseases that accompany aging, such as arthritis, make exercise difficult to impossible. Even a slight bump or a cough is enough to break bones when a person has advanced bone loss. By providing round-the-clock attention and assistance, nursing home staff can reduce the risks for even the frailest residents in their care.