Senior Health: Osteoporosis and Arthritis

Published by Steve Hedberg on November 23, 2009 Under Senior Health

healthSeniors, even those who are very healthy, are at an increased risk of developing certain disorders. This is not to say that these conditions are normal or even a part of the aging process, but simply that the chance of developing some types of diseases greatly increases with age.

Of the number of different diseases that can affect the elderly, osteoporosis and arthritis are two of the most common diseases, which also have the greatest impact on the life of the elderly.


Osteoporosis can affect those of all ages, but it is more common among those over 65. Women who have experienced menopause are at an increased risk over males, although males still do get osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is characterized by a loss of bone density, resulting in much weaker bones that can be very brittle. As a result of the reduced bone density, it is much easier for a bone to break, even from what are otherwise very low impact falls.

One of the reasons that seniors develop osteoporosis is due to diet, with those who do not get enough calcium and vitamin D being at a much higher risk of developing osteoporosis.


Arthritis, like osteoporosis, can affect those of all ages, but is much more commonly found in seniors. There are actually more than a 100 types of arthritis, many of which can affect the body in very different manners. However, most types of arthritis affect the joints of the body, making movements more painful or difficult.

Among the elderly, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common types of arthritis. The way these two types of arthritis affect the body differs slightly, but both cause cartilage in the joints to break down, causing the bones of the joints to rub directly together. This can be very painful and greatly reduce the accessibility and mobility of the senior.

Treatment of arthritis often involves discovering ways of making living with arthritis much easier, as there is no way to reverse the effects of arthritis. There are, however, several medicines that can be used to help prevent the arthritis from spreading.

Effects of Osteoporosis and Arthritis on Seniors

The effects of arthritis and osteoporosis among the elderly can vary, largely depending on the extent of the disease. In the case of osteoporosis, preventing the disease from spreading by eating a healthy diet and taking certain medicines is one of the most important ways to prevent its effects, but it is still very important to prevent falls from occurring. In these cases, it is not the osteoporosis itself that causes the fall, but it does result in more injuries among the elderly.

Arthritis, on the other hand, is much more likely cause a fall for a senior, as it can make moving painful and difficult. In addition to taking medicine and eating a healthy diet, many seniors opt to use devices like rollators, which are rolling walkers, and lift chairs to help make life easier. These types of devices can greatly reduce the risk of a fall and make it much easier for the senior to get around.

No Comments |

Add a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.