Living With Osteoporosis

"Best Tips for Putting Your Safety First" > age related diseases > osteoporosis-prevention > osteoporosis 6

Changes to Your Environment

If you have osteoporosis, you need to take even greater care in making your environment accident proof and protecting yourself doing certain activities, and even cutting out some activities completely, if possible.

Avoid Lifting Heavy Objects

  • Avoid lifting, especially heavy objects and all activities which put a strain on your back. Learn the correct way to lift things and make sure that you put what you learn into practice when you can't avoid lifing. Keep your back straight and bend from the knees when picking up or putting down heavy objects. Hug object as close to you as possible when carrying them.

Throughout the House

  • Make sure all your rugs have anti-slip rubber matting underneath to stop them from sliding.

  • Beware of wet floors – both at home or in public rest rooms. The same goes for wet pavements – wear shoes with non-slip soles or speak to your cobbler about which soles he recommends and have these fitted on all your shoes.
  • . Make sure there is adequate lighting around your house, especially for when you need to use the toilet at night. If necessary install a light that detects motion.
  • Make sure that, in addition to adequate lighting, all stairwells are protected, all stairs have sturdy bannisters or stair rails.
  • Get rid of clutter on stairs and on floors and make sure that ornaments, such as vases which sit on the floor and could trip you up are kept to a minimum.
  • Train children and their parents (if the kids are your grandchildren) to pick up their toys and beware of tripping over dogs and cats or other pets who might get underfoot.

In The Bedroom

  • Get out of bed by rolling onto your side and using your arm to push yourself into a sitting position. Getting directly up into a standing position from a lying position puts stress on your bones.
  • When making beds, do one side at a time. Don't lift the mattress with a rounded back. Leave the sheets and blankets untucked or use a duvet. If you are married or in a live-in relationship, enlist the help of your partner or children and
  • Delegate bed-making altogether if possible.

In the Bathroom

  • Install handrails to support you getting in or out of the bath or using the toilet.
  • Use a rubber mat in the bath or shower to avoid slipping and be careful when standing in the shower or getting into or out of the bath.

  • Use an absorbent bathmat to dry off on – don’t drip onto the floor, as it will become slippery. Hang the bathmat up after use as a permanent bathroom mat could trip you up.

Clothing and Footwear

  • Adapt your style of clothing to fit in with your special needs. Prefer clothing of a length that avoids you tripping up over long trousers, dresses or skirts, especially when using the stairs. Otherwise, take extra care when wearing long clothing.
  • Wear footwear which has grip soles when possible and which supports the ankle to avoid slipping.

Outside the Home

  • Watch your step when outside your home as you have less control of the environment. Many people, who suffer from osteoporosis, sustain serious injuries slipping over during rainy or icy conditions or tripping on obstacles.
  • Be extra vigilant when there is ice about. Don’t go out unless absolutely necessary. Make sure you have non-slip, grip soles on your shoes, or even spikes.
  • Be very careful that you have the proper equipment and footwear for walking and sports and always dry your feet after swimming.

Ask for Assistance

Don't be afraid to ask for help

  • Have a family reunion and explain the situation to your children. Delegate tasks which they could help with and which might cause you harm.

  • Ask friends or neighbours to help with shopping or see if your local supermarket delivers or if there are internet shopping facilities in your area and buy on-line.

  • If your osteoporosis causes you pain and limits your mobility, this may affect the activities you can do and the social roles you play. Some women feel isolated and depressed as a result. There are support groups for people living with osteoporosis. These allow you to talk to others in similar situations and learn from guest speakers. Look for Internet groups where you can learn from other women in a similar situation.

    Continue to page seven of the Age-well Mini Site on Osteoporosis:

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The forum for sharing advice and information about osteoporosis

Pages on Osteoporosis

  • Osteoporosis Prevention - What is Osteoporosis, Five things to do Now
  • The Importance of Bone Health
  • Other Causes of Osteoporosis
  • More Strategies to Prevent Osteoporosis
  • Osteoporosis Treatment - Living with Osteoporosis
  • Safety First - Changes to Your Environment
  • Osteoshare - Advice Forum about Osteoporosis

    News About Osteoporosis

    Osteoporosis Quotes

    “Twenty-five years ago, the world's leading experts in cardiovascular diseases warned of an impending epidemic of heart disease in developing countries. This warning was largely ignored and we are now seeing a dramatic increase in prevalence of cardiovascular diseases in the developing world. We must not allow the same thing to happen for osteoporosis. We must act now.”
    Gro Harlem Brundtland, former director general, World Health Organization,

    “Although we have effective treatments for osteoporosis, each year millions of our grandmothers are crippled and disfigured because they don't have easy and sufficient access to diagnosis and medication.”
    Her Majesty Queen Rania of Joran

    “As patron of Osteoporosis Canada for many years, I am pleased that we have successfully changed the image of osteoporosis as a disease of elderly women, a group who historically have had neither economic nor political clout –to a disease that can strike us all whether we are men or women, young or old. ”Maureen McTeer, medical law specialist, human rights advocate, author, patron of Osteoporosis Canada.

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