Empowering patients to stay independent after a broken bone

Strong bones after 50 is a guide that provides jargon-free information to patients and carers for supporting older people who have broken a bone following a fall.
Elderly man and woman talking together at a Healthwatch event

Information can be found in the Royal College of Physicians patient, carer and families guide, which has been featured on the NHS osteoporosis health page.

The Royal Osteoporosis Society have a free helpline on: 0808 800 0035 open Monday – Friday 9am-5pm.

There are an estimated half a million fragility fractures in the UK each year, many of which could be prevented with earlier diagnosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. However, the link is not being made between fractures in the over 50s and undetected osteoporosis. A fifth of women who have broken a bone break three or more before being diagnosed.

By giving patients information about bone health and fracture prevention, the Fracture Liaison Service Database (FLS-DB) hope that people will have the confidence to approach their doctor and ask for further investigations. Finding out more about risk factors can also be helpful, as some of these can be addressed by the patient, such as such as not smoking or drinking excessive alcohol and having a healthy body weight.

Working with a patient focus group, the guide tells patients:

  • the minimum standards of care they can expect
  • what investigations they may undergo
  • possible treatment options
  • what they can do to help themselves.

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