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    Easy Living Tips After a Fracture

    By Brenda Conaway
    WebMD Feature
    Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

    When you're nursing a broken bone, you may be tempted to rest safely on a sofa, day and night, until it's healed. Don't! Your recovery will go better if you follow your doctor’s orders and stay as active as possible.

    You may need to do things differently for a while. But the rewards for staying active are great. You'll build strength and protect your bones from weakening, says Robert Dorman, a physical therapist at Massachusetts General in Boston.

    Recommended Related to Osteoporosis

    Exercises to Help Osteoporosis

    When Betty Bullock was diagnosed with osteoporosis in 1997, at the age of 66, it was a shock. She’d always been healthy and active, an avid athlete who plays tennis, swims, walks her dogs, and dances. “I was thinking, ‘What did I do wrong?’” says the 76-year-old great-grandmother, who lives in Albuquerque, N.M. “I had assumed I didn’t have to worry about osteoporosis since I was so healthy and my mother had never had it.”

    Read the Exercises to Help Osteoporosis article > >

    Ease back into your home routine with these smart ways to get around, cook, dress, and stay independent as you heal.

    Make Your Home Safer

    Are you using a cane, walker, or a sling now? Are you just moving a little slower? Ask your family or friends to help make your home safer, says Logan Sharma, an occupational therapist at Mass General in Boston.

    Here's what your family and friends can do to help you avoid a trip or fall:

    • Rearrange the furniture. Clear a wide path through each room. If needed, move your bed to the first floor until you can climb the stairs again.
    • Clear out clutter. Put away stacks of clothes, books, or magazines -- anything that can trip you up.
    • Fix loose rugs. Secure large area rugs with double-stick tape around all edges. Remove small throw rugs.
    • Add lighting. Make sure all entries and hallways are brightly lit. Put nightlights everywhere you walk after dark.
    • Install handrails on both sides of stairs. Also install grab bars in the shower. Be sure to use them!
    • Keep a phone nearby. If you live alone, always keep a mobile or cordless phone at arms' reach, so you can call for help.

    Make Daily Tasks Easier

    You may need to move differently until your broken bone heals completely. For a fracture in your spine, keep your back straight and upright. Don't swivel sideways or rotate your torso.

    A physical or occupational therapist can show you how to do daily tasks safely, depending which bone is fractured.

    These tips may help:

    Make cooking a cinch. Ask family and friends to shop for you. Or order groceries online for pick-up or delivery. Try these food choices:

    • Stock up on healthy, frozen meals you can pop in the microwave.
    • Buy pre-washed, pre-cut veggies and fruit to save time and energy.

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