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Miss Anderson Has Osteoporosis

Miss Anderson lives at Kensington Home, a long-term care facility for elderly residents. Miss Anderson has osteoporosis, a disease that causes a person’s bones to become weak and fragile. Osteoporosis is more common in women than in men. People’s bones have a mineral inside of them called calcium, and calcium helps to keep bones strong. Sometimes elderly people’s bones become weak due to decreased calcium in their bones. Miss Anderson has developed this condition over a period of years. The weakened bones have caused her spine to become rounded and her bones to become fragile. Her stooped posture from her weakened spine causes her pain.

Her nursing assistant Cassie is careful when she lifts Miss Anderson from her bed or chair. Cassie helps Miss Anderson get some exercise by walking with her around the nursing home. She doesn’t want Miss Anderson to fall and break a bone because her bones would take a long time to heal. Miss Anderson tires easily, so she cannot walk very long, but Cassie has told her that a little exercise every day will help alleviate the pain.

To reduce injuries, Kensington Home does not have any rugs on the floor that residents could trip on. The walls have grab bars at the correct height so residents can hold on to them. Miss Anderson has trouble looking up, so Cassie places the objects that Miss Anderson needs on low tables in her room to make them easier to see and reach.

If Miss Anderson’s osteoporosis worsens, Cassie will use a transfer belt to move Miss Anderson from her bed to her chair. Cassie is keeping an eye on Miss Anderson’s osteoporosis. If she notices Miss Anderson has increased pain or swelling in a joint, she will tell her supervising nurse. For now, Cassie will help Miss Anderson manage her osteoporosis with gentle, daily exercise and will alert the supervisor if Miss Anderson needs pain medication.

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© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners