When left untreated, a 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 a dowager’s hump.
Consume More Calcium
Osteoporosis takes place when the bones become brittle, and it is one of the leading causes of dowager’s humps. 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 a doctor to make sure the dosage won’t conflict 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 home care. Caledon families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones 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 the 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 a trainer about alternatives like swimming and the use of elastic bands. Many studies show that 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 a 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 or 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 Caledon, Ontario, 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 Fat 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 much trans fat increases an individual’s risk of chronic inflammation near the neck and spine. Switching over 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 their posture should set regular alarms on a nearby clock or phone. Every 15 or 20 minutes, they should try to adjust their posture so their shoulders are pushed back and their chin is up. As time goes on and their posture gets better, they can eventually set the alarms at longer intervals.
Caring for a loved one with dowager’s hump or another physical condition can be challenging for family members. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Caledon, ON, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. Call us at 905-951-8885 and let one of our professional caregivers help your senior loved one age in the comfort of home.