The new International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) platform provides easy-to-follow exercise guidance and nutritional tips to benefit bone health, alerts to falls safety hazards in the home, and provides helpful information for caregivers. 

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) has launched the Build Better Bones platform, a new online resource that provides people with osteoporosis, and their caregivers, with practical guidance on how to strengthen bones and reduce the risk of fragility fractures through targeted exercises and bone-healthy nutrition. Most broken bones occur as a result of a fall, and the platform gives guidance on fall safety hazards in the home, how to improve balance, and other ways to reduce the risk of falling. 

Physical activity is an essential ingredient for bone health and a combination of balance, function-based, strengthening, and bone-loading exercises helps keep older adults physically mobile and physically independent. The exercise section of the Build Better Bones website contains a knowledge base about exercise, including information about the importance of warm-ups and exercising safely. The workouts are shown with easy-to-follow video animations, which can be selected according to goal and target area. Each exercise comes with instructions and can be printed in PDF form for offline use. 

Another unique feature of the Build Better Bones platform is the special section for caregivers, who are often close family or friends. They are undeniably important for older people with osteoporosis and those who are recovering from osteoporosis-related fractures. Often, their support helps older patients continue to live in the comfort of their own homes. Aside from providing emotional support and assistance with daily tasks, carers’ responsibilities may include shuttling patients between physician’s visits. As they may need to become well-versed in the various medical specialties, including what sort of evaluations or treatments each has to offer, the Build Better Bones platform outlines key information including treatment approaches, how to advocate for the patient, and how to take action if the person with osteoporosis suffers a fall.

Build Better Bones was developed by IOF with support from scientific experts of the IOF Rehabilitation Working Group, Professor Stuart Silverman, Assistant Professor Daniel Pinto, and Professor Olivier Bruyère. Professor Bruyère stated,

“For most patients, anti-osteoporosis medications are the first line of defence in preventing fractures and strengthening bones. However, targeted exercise that builds muscle strength and improves balance and physical function is very important too. We felt that there was a need for an accessible online resource that can support people with osteoporosis in their daily lives by helping them to establish a personal exercise routine and by providing key facts about bone-healthy nutrition. As many older adults with osteoporosis rely on caregivers for assistance, we have also included information that will support caregivers in providing the best possible care.”

Dr Philippe Halbout, IOF CEO, noted, “People who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis may react with dismay or confusion – and ask themselves ‘What do I do next?’.  The Build Better Bones platform aims to help patients move ahead proactively along their journey to building stronger bones. While we do hope that the platform will become a go-to resource recommended by physicians to their patients and the patients’ caregivers, it is also a great resource for anyone who wants to learn how to take action for osteoporosis, falls, and fragility fracture prevention.”

Among IOF’s 315 member organizations are many osteoporosis patient societies that will find the Build Better Bones platform a useful resource for their patient communities. 

Dr Famida Jiwa, Chair of IOF’s Patient Societies Subcommittee, and President and CEO of Osteoporosis Canada stated,

“Targeted exercise, bone-healthy nutrition, and falls prevention are essential aspects of osteoporosis management. We welcome the availability of this new user-friendly IOF resource which will help people all over the world stay mobile and maintain independence as they age.” 

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