Healthy Bones


20 percent of American women ages 50 and older have osteoporosis and more than half have detectable bone loss (osteopenia). This is one reason caregivers must be careful when providing care or assistance. One out of three women over age 50 and one out of five older men will develop an osteoporotic fracture—a hip, a wrist, a vertebra or two.

Health authorities recommend a lot more calcium than most of us routinely get: 1,200 mg for women after 50 and men after 70. Nursing homes and caregivers should encourage foods that are high in calcium, such as dairy products, sardines and tofu. not enough healthy options are available.

Bone is a dynamic tissue, constantly replenished with new cells. Calcium is the key nutrient for building bone. Vitamin D enables the gut to absorb calcium from the food we eat. Doctors should recommend D supplements to counteract age-related bone loss. However, an editorial opined that it’s time for medical professionals to quit ordering so many blood tests for vitamin D levels.


Osteoarthritis is a widespread condition that affects 32.5 million adults in the United States. The clinical condition is characterized by the degeneration and breakdown of cartilage in the joints. Knee osteoarthritis affects approximately 800,000 people each year as a chronic and progressive condition that cause pain and difficulty moving.

Two recent studies have shown that corticosteroid injections, which are commonly used to treat the pain associated with knee osteoarthritis, may contribute to the progression of the disease. These findings were recently presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Caregivers must be careful when moving, transferring, or assisting residents. Fractures and injuries of unknown origin occur because caregivers rush or are too busy and overworked. Unsafe staffing hurts residents and caregivers.