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Dos and Don’ts for Exercising with Osteoporosis

Elder Care in Santa Rosa CA: Exercising with Osteoporosis

Elder Care in Santa Rosa CA: Exercising with Osteoporosis

Mom has been having a tough time lately. She has osteoporosis, and she feels like she can’t do any of the physical activities she used to do because she is afraid she will fracture a bone. You wish you could help somehow, but you’re just as afraid as she is that something will go wrong and she will end up in the hospital. You and her elder care aide have both been making sure she eats well to help alleviate symptoms of osteoporosis, and you make sure she moves around a bit during the day, but this isn’t really enough. She wants to move, she wants to be active, she wants to exercise, but how can she?

Actually, doctors recommend both regular exercise and yoga for osteoporosis sufferers. Not only does it help to keep your aging loved one in shape, it also helps to strengthen their muscles, which helps to keep their bones more protected. It gives them more energy, and it can alleviate the pain that comes with stiff bones.

However, you are both right to worry that overdoing it with exercise can cause problems. Fortunately, though, there are many exercises your mother can do that will help, not hurt. Just keep the following list of things in mind to lower the risk of injury:

  • DON’T do twisting or bending exercises – Exercises that involve bending or twisting at the waist level can be very dangerous for osteoporosis sufferers. This type of exercise puts a lot of stress on the body, and can easily lead to fracture, so leave out the toe-touches and sit-ups!
  • DO focus on weight-bearing, resistance, and stretching exercises – Exercises that involve bearing the weight of your body with your legs like walking and hiking help to strengthen muscles, which, in turn, makes bones stronger and more protected. Resistance exercises like swimming or lifting weights can be a great way to build muscle as well, as can stretching exercises like yoga, which promotes flexibility.
  • DON’T run, jog, or jump – This type of exercise jostles the bones too much, and the high impact and intensity can fracture a bone, which will be very painful. Focus instead on lighter activities, like walking and dancing, that don’t involve any jumping or stomping.
  • DO make it a workout – Just because you have osteoporosis doesn’t mean that you can’t still have a vigorous workout! Just make sure that your loved one goes at their own pace and maintains proper form to avoid any possible injury.

If you and your mother are still concerned about starting an exercise routine, consult a doctor to find out what the best exercises would be for her level of health. Then, you and/or her elder care aide could spot her while she works out, or maybe you could even join her and get fit yourself! While you must always be careful because there is some risk of injury with exercise, this could apply to anyone, not just people with osteoporosis. Don’t let the fear of fractures keep your loved one from staying active!

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Santa Rosa, CA, call At Your Service Home Care.  Call today! (707) 573-1003



Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS

In 1988, after working as a clinical nurse in the University Health System at UC San Francisco, Lucy Andrews started understanding home care.

She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.

Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.

Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.

Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.

She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.

Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.

Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.