Osteoporosis: A Clinical Update for Home Healthcare Clinicians

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Abstract

Home healthcare clinicians are in a unique position to assess patients for risk of osteoporosis and fragility fractures. They are also key members of the interdisciplinary care team in the recovery of patients with fragility fractures. Home healthcare clinicians care for an aging patient population with diverse conditions and multiple medications that can increase their risk of osteoporosis. Bone mineral density in addition to an evaluation of clinical risk factors are necessary to diagnose osteoporosis; DEXA and FRAX are the tools available. Undertreatment of osteoporosis is common among community dwelling elderly adults. Lack of patient adherence and insufficient physician prescription of medications are common. There are a wide array of osteoporosis medications and patients need education about their use. With the growing number of older adults in the population, increasing numbers will be vulnerable to osteoporosis and fragility fracture. Home healthcare clinicians need to be proactive to assess the aging population and assist in their treatment of this common disorder.

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