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5 Tips for Preventing Dowager’s Hump in the Golden Years

By Mark Silvanic, 9:00 am on

The rounded, stooping posture associated with dowager’s hump is preventable for most seniors. These tips can help your senior loved one enjoy good posture throughout the golden years.

1. Get Regular Exercise

Physical therapy can be an effective way to enhance posture if the signs of dowager’s hump are already present. Address your concerns at a doctor’s appointment for a referral to physical therapy, or make an appointment with a specialist. 

Modified physical therapy exercises are an option for seniors with limited mobility or other health concerns. Usually, physical therapy is most effective when started as soon as signs of a dowager’s hump are noticeable, but even seniors with advanced signs of the condition can benefit from the exercise.

A professional caregiver can motivate your loved one to exercise regularly. Although it may be challenging to find a reliable, highly rated home care company, Colorado Springs, CO, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.

2. Practice Good Posture

Dowager’s hump can be caused by leaning the head forward. This posture is often related to activities like reading, working at a desk, or texting. Practicing good posture whenever possible can prevent the calcium buildup at the base of the neck that leads to dowager’s hump. 

Seniors who have early signs of developing the condition should develop a plan for remembering to sit and stand as straight as possible.

3. Use Supportive Devices

Added back support may enhance posture and prevent stooping. To help your loved one maintain good posture, try a back brace recommended by a medical professional or use supportive cushions that encourage good posture while sitting. 

An ergonomic desk chair can also enhance posture. When spending time at a desk, your loved one should trade a few minutes to stretch and move for each hour spent sitting, and include regular exercise such as walking or swimming in his or her daily routine.

If your senior loved one needs help maintaining a regular exercise routine or assistance with mobility, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Colorado Springs, CO, 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.

4. Maintain Good Bone Health

Regular examinations for osteoporosis, a condition that occurs when bones become weaker due to calcium loss, can prevent dowager’s hump. Osteoporosis is most common in women, with the greatest number affected after menopause.

Early treatment of osteoporosis can reduce its effects on the body, resulting in stronger bones that provide the support needed for good posture. In addition to treatment, many seniors need to take calcium supplements. To prevent potential health concerns, your loved one should consult his or her doctor before taking supplements.

5. Avoid Soda

All seniors should eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, but seniors with a higher risk of developing dowager’s hump should pay special attention to their diets. Foods high in phosphoric acid, such as soda, can increase the fatty deposits located on the spine. Seniors should opt for beverages like water, herbal tea, and fruit juice.

While some seniors develop a dowager’s hump because of medications or disease, many can prevent the condition by living a healthy lifestyle.

Professional caregivers can encourage aging adults to exercise often, practice good posture, eat healthy foods, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. For many seniors in Colorado Springs, CO, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. If your aging loved one needs assistance with daily activities or you need a break from your caregiving duties, call us at (719) 822-1229 today.

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