If anyone has been told they have a thinning of bone (and this has to be proved by X-ray), they must take extra care not to do any heavy lifting or straining. They need a diet with plenty of protein and vitamins. These last two are so often poorly supplied in the elderly, who sometimes live alone, and have no stimulus to do proper baking or cooking. For a long time, it was thought that this thinning of bone at any age might be due to a lack of calcium, and patients were stuffed with it.
Big doses of calcium were disappointing, and a varied diet gives anybody enough of this mineral anyway. Finally, if grandma is changing houses after her brood has grown up, try to get her to accept a bungalow instead of an up-and-down. Fractures are much less frequent in the former.
There are now drugs available to help combat the problem, but taking precautions to avoid falls is always practical.
Many articles taken from 'A word with the doctor', by Dr. John Windsor.