Bone density testing is important for older men and women, yet some have never have it done. Have you talked to your parents and their doctor about scheduling the quick and easy test? Here are the best ways to address the importance of this test and what they need to do to keep their bones strong.
Why Is Bone Density Important?
As you age, your bones can become more brittle. They don’t have to, but aging can lead to minerals like calcium and phosphate being reabsorbed into other areas of the body. If that happens, the bones lose some density and become more likely to break during a fall.
A bone density test, known as a DEXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) test, can check the density of the bones in the body. If the bone density is lessening, measures can be taken to keep osteoporosis from happening.
A bone density test is highly recommended in women after the age of 65, men over the age of 70, and anyone who breaks a bone after the age of 50. If there’s a family history of osteoporosis, the screening test may be recommended earlier.
Make sure your parents know that a bone fracture is painful. It can also require them to go through a lot of physical therapy and medical appointments to make sure everything is healing properly. Some fractures require surgery.
To lower the risk of a bone fracture, this test can help determine if calcium supplements or a high-calcium diet are needed. Prescription medications may be necessary if osteoporosis is present.
How Does the Test Work?
When you’re talking to your parents about the importance of a bone density test, make sure they understand how the test works. It’s just an x-ray. They lay on a flat surface and the machine takes images of areas like their hips and spines. They may have a screening test that’s even quicker and takes an x-ray or ultrasound of their arm, finger, heel, or wrist.
There are no needles or invasive measures used during a bone density screening. If they worry about the test hurting, they don’t need to.
When you work full-time, it can be hard to find time to accompany them to their medical appointments. If they can’t drive anymore, they may put off seeing a doctor because it’s hard to get there. Caregivers can drive them. Caregivers can also make sure they’re eating the right foods and prepare meals that provide the vitamin D and calcium that they need.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering a Caregiver in Westminster, MD please contact the caring staff at Just Divine Home Care Agency today at (301) 219-1585.