If your loved one has suffered a fracture or been diagnosed with osteoporosis, you may find yourself wondering what role you are to play, especially if you’re closest to them.

As a caregiver, you play both an important, challenging and yet rewarding role in the lives of osteoporosis patients from helping them perform simple tasks such as buying groceries, to being a core part of the patient’s recovery team. 


Your loved one will face a host of physical and emotional obstacles in their osteoporosis journey, whether or not they regain their mobility. Part of your role as their caregiver is to alleviate their stress by providing them with emotional and practical support whenever needed, which could include:

Helping them overcome physical obstacles5
You can lend support by helping with their usual household chores and routines; assuring them that everything will be taken care of.
Regaining mobility after a fragility fracture will take time, encourage them by taking it one step at a time and celebrate small wins. 
Reduce home and environmental hazards by choosing lights that aid visual impairment or surfaces that are non-slip. You could also refer to occupational therapists for home assessment. Advise your loved one to wear well-fitting shoes with low heeled, slip resistant soles and a large contact area to reduce falls.
Lifestyle changes for managing osteoporosis

If your loved one is diagnosed with low bone mass or osteoporosis, suggest dietary and lifestyle modifications can help to preserve bone health and minimise the effects of osteoporosis.6

Ensuring an increase or maintenance of your loved one’s intake of calcium-rich foods, such as yogurt, bean curd, nuts, and calcium-fortified foods are recommended.
Encourage regular weight-bearing cardio, muscle-strengthening, and balance exercises.
For those with high risk of fracture, you could encourage medication to protect your loved one against future fractures.
Physiotherapy post fracture support. 
Providing emotional support

An osteoporosis patient, especially one who has lost their mobility due to a fragility fracture, may not accept this fact immediately. They will need some time to comprehend the changes in their life. During this time, they will need your help to be patient and accepting of the challenges they may face emotionally. Some of the things you can do include:7,8

Be open-minded and listen to his/her concerns.
Validate his/her concerns with supportive or empathetic statements.
Stay truthful and honest, but sensitive in your tone and delivery.
   Ask him/her what he needs, how you can help and remind him/her they are not alone.

Finally, it is important to maintain steady communication between you and the person you’re caring for. You may feel social dynamics begin to change, giving you new responsibilities and changing your roles within your relationship. Spend time together to decide how you will work through this new phase in your lives.


Many osteoporosis patients can return to living normal and fulfilling lives due to the latest treatment options available. Nonetheless, the changes in one’s lifestyle that comes with the diagnosis can cause anxiety for both the patient and the caregiver. It’s important to always remain positive.

Do remember to take care of yourself, as you are an integral part of your patient’s journey. Sometimes you may need to take a break or find someone you can talk to about your challenges. By taking care of your own health, you can better support them physically and emotionally.9,10,11

    Taking care of yourself

    As a caregiver, you need to stay physically active. Eat the right foods and get the right amount of sleep and exercise, where possible.

    You are not alone in this journey – talk to others and feel free to reach out for support from family and friends. Bring them on-board if you need to.

    Take time-outs – create a schedule that is manageable for yourself and the person you are caring for. Don’t hesitate to reach out to family and friends to take on some tasks especially if it feels like you are struggling.

      You will be at higher risk for osteoporosis yourself. Take the chance to talk to your doctor on your bone health.

    If you want to know more about bone health, you may refer to the Osteoporosis Society (Singapore) website (themeetinglab.eventsair.com) or the Fight The Fracture website (www.fightthefracture.sg)


    1 Agency for Care Effectiveness. Osteoporosis – Identification and management in primary care. www.ace-hta.gov.sg.

    2 Ministry of Health. Osteoporosis. www.healthhub.sg.

    3 Kanis JA, et al. Osteoporosis Int 2012;23:2239–56.

    4 World Health Organization. Assessment of fracture risk and its application to screening for postmenopausal osteoporosis. Report of a WHO Study Group. (WHO Technical Report Series, No. 843). 1994.

    5 Health Promotion Board. Falls prevention among older adults living in the community. www.hpb.gov.sg.

    6 Ministry of Health. Recommended dietary allowances. www.healthhub.sg.

    7 Healthtalk. Family, friends and support for people with osteoporosis. healthtalk.org.

    8 National Osteoporosis Foundation. Overall health. www.nof.org.

    9 Healthhub. Caregivers Must Take Care Too. www.healthhub.sg.

    10 Agency for Integrated Care. Self-care tips. www.aic.sg.

    11 Agency for Integrated Care. Getting respite. www.aic.sg.