How does living with Osteoporosis Affect your Lifestyle

Dr. Kam Shojania, MD FRCPC, Rheumatologist, discusses osteoporosis and lifestyle.

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Dr. Kam Shojania, MD FRCPC, Rheumatologist, discusses osteoporosis and lifestyle.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Kam Shojania, MD, FRCPC

Duration: 2 minutes, 38 seconds

If you already have osteoporosis, the best thing to do is to try to minimize your risk factors for making it worse.

And those would include the appropriate diet, exercise, quitting smoking, and stopping some of the medications that make osteoporosis worse, but also living with osteoporosis can be challenging.

One of the biggest challenges is people with osteoporosis think they're going to fracture, so they don't do anything. They will avoid going out, they will avoid walking, they will avoid exercise, because of fear of falling or fracturing, and that's absolutely the wrong thing to do.

They need to exercise but they also need to protect themselves. How do you do that? Well they can protect themselves with things like using a cane or a walker in some instances. They should have their house checked out perhaps by an occupational therapist to look for things that could make them fall at home.

The home is the most common place for falls. So loose rugs, furniture that juts out, dark corridors, you know, they could adjust those so that you have less likelihood of falling. The home is the most significant place for falls and things that they could easily do at home would be to remove throw rugs, furniture that juts out, or things that they could fall on.

The bathroom is a very dangerous place for most people, so grab bars around the toilet or in the bathtub, nonstick bath mats are important. But sometimes getting an occupational therapist to come to the house and taking a good look is the best thing to do.

Improving the quality of life and safety of those who have osteoporosis needs to include other people around them. For example, partners, children, other family members, can help with making sure the house is safe.

They can help with some of the dangerous activity such as getting on ladders, and getting into high places, there are nursing home visits that can be arranged through the local health authority social work program.

They could arrange home nursing visits, home occupational therapy visits, also those electronic lifelines are also very useful. If they do fall and can't get up, they need to be able to call someone in an emergency.

So there's lots of resources for people with osteoporosis or other limiting musculoskeletal conditions in the house. If you think you have osteoporosis you need to contact your healthcare provider and discuss it with them.

Presenter: Dr. Kam Shojania, Rheumatologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Rheumatologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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