Grandma, today we will celebrate with a glass of milk and a walk!
Author: Sofia Duque - Hospital Cuf Descobertas, Faculty of Medicine - University of Lisbon
Last week, on World Day for Grandparents, I penned a magazine article to raise Osteoporosis awareness—an often silent yet common disease in older individuals, significantly affecting their quality of life. Taking an approachable stance, I addressed the grandchildren, urging them to champion their grandparents' health. Titled "Grandma, today let's celebrate with a glass of milk and a walk!" (https://tinyurl.com/24zsqdgy), the article promotes intergenerational solidarity, strengthening bonds between the young and the older while enhancing health literacy among the new generation. Tips to engage grandchildren as health messengers: 1.Inform your grandparents about Osteoporosis—the weakening of bones leading to fractures, even from minor falls, causing pain and immobility. Prevention and treatment are possible; share examples of others who've suffered fractures. 2.Use positive language! Say: "Grandma/Grandpa, let's beat osteoporosis!" 3."Grandma/Grandpa, let's be more active!" Regular physical activity, especially strength exercises, helps prevent Osteoporosis. Suggest using water bottles as weights or gifting small dumbbells or a pedal exerciser. Encourage walking or dancing for bone health. 4."Grandma/Grandpa, don't forget calcium-rich foods!" Advise consuming milk, yogurt, spinach to prevent and treat Osteoporosis. Mention that calcium supplementation requires medical prescription. 5."Grandma/Grandpa, get some sunlight!" Moderate sun exposure outside peak hours produces vitamin D, essential for strong bones. Share food sources like salmon, tuna, mushrooms, and suggest vitamin D supplementation as per medical advice. 6."Grandma/Grandpa, don't smoke and don't abuse alcohol!" 7.Encourage talking to the doctor about Osteoporosis, bone density scans, blood tests to assess bone health. Suggest asking about possible treatments. 8.For those with Osteoporosis or fractures, stress adhering to medications. Help create a medication calendar. Leveraging grandchildren's social network proficiency as active participants in older people's healthcare seems promising. Their influence over grandparents can promote healthier aging. In conclusion, I wished everyone a "Happy Grandparents' Day full of Health!" Hoping this intergenerational care message contributes to better well-being for both young and old.