How to Prevent Dowager’s Hump in the Golden Years

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How to Prevent Dowager’s Hump in the Senior Years

By Carolina Orosa, 9:00 am on

As seniors age, the upper back can become rounded as a result of weakened vertebrae and muscles. This condition is known as dowager’s hump, and it is especially common in senior women with osteoporosis. To prevent dowager’s hump, seniors need to boost their bone health. Here are a few effective ways seniors can prevent unnecessary bone loss and stave off dowager’s hump. 

Do Yoga

Studies show yoga is an effective way to prevent dowager’s hump. There are several yoga poses that enhance upper body posture, such as the seated mountain, seated superman, and the rocking horse. These poses stretch the shoulders and reduce the spinal compression that can lead to dowager’s hump. For seniors interested in yoga, there are several ways to practice. They could try workout DVDs, classes at the local community center, or even search online for DIY videos.

Engaging in yoga is one of the best ways for seniors to enjoy a higher quality of life. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in Vancouver, BC, in-home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

Consume an Adequate Amount of Calcium

Postmenopausal women are at risk for dowager’s hump because menopause decreases estrogen production. As estrogen is partially responsible for calcium absorption, this hormonal change can make women susceptible to bone loss, osteoporosis, and injuries. To make sure their bones stay strong, senior women should increase their calcium intake. They could add more calcium-containing foods and drinks to their diet, like yogurt, milk, and low-fat cheese. They can also take supplements, which can help them get their daily dose of calcium. 

Follow a Healthy Diet

Calcium isn’t the only nutrient needed to boost bone health. Seniors who want to prevent dowager’s hump should follow a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. These food groups contain beta-carotene, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D, which are needed to maintain bone mass. Seniors should also avoid excessive amounts of caffeine, sodium, and alcohol. 

Caring for a senior loved one and encouraging him or her to make healthier lifestyle choices can be overwhelming at times. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Vancouver, British Columbia, 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.  

Stop Smoking

The connection between smoking and bone loss is well known. When people smoke, the body’s ability to use vitamin D is compromised and the bones start to get weak and brittle, which can lead to osteoporosis and dowager’s hump. It’s never too late to quit smoking, and seniors worried about their bone health should try to curb their nicotine habit. To quit smoking, seniors should consider patches, support groups, and smoking cessation counseling. 

Maintain Good Posture

Bad posture isn’t the primary cause of dowager’s hump, but it certainly doesn’t help. To prevent this condition, seniors should try to maintain good posture whenever possible. Instead of slumping at the dinner table, they should sit up straight. Instead of walking with their shoulders hunched forward, they should press their shoulders down and back. Good posture is a habit like any other. With practice, it becomes easier for a senior to maintain proper alignment.

Some seniors need assistance managing daily tasks or the symptoms of a disease. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in home care, Vancouver Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. Call us at 778-279-3634 to learn about our premier senior care plans.