21 ways to protect your bones

With multiple myeloma, you know your bones can be at risk for weakening and fractures. Luckily, not only are there medications that can help, but you can stay strong with these simple everyday tips.

1. Make a list of your medications. Ask your healthcare provider to review it for those that can cause bone loss or balance problems.

2. Get a grip. Use railings and banisters when going up or down stairs.

3. Lift with your legs. Avoid spinal fractures by hinging at the hips and bending the knees. Don’t round your back.

4. Keep your phone near. You won’t need to rush to answer calls.

5. Put a bell on your pet. Our cats and dogs are dear, but they can also cause falls. Use a bell to make sure you hear them coming!

6. Rise and shine, safely. Keep slippers with grips on the sole next to your bed.

7. Clean spills quickly. Swab spills and clean floors immediately.

8. Do a shoe intervention. Check your closet to look for shoes that need resoling and get them to the cobbler. Toss shoes that make you wobble, slip, lurch or that torture your feet!

9. Tack down your rugs. Secure loose rugs with double-faced tape, tacks or a slip-resistant backing—or simply remove throw rugs from your home.

10. Check your bags. Get help with grocery bags that can throw you off-balance. And always ask a bellhop for help with luggage!

11. Kick nicotine. Smoking robs bones of vital nutrients like calcium, reduces your bone mass and increases your risk for broken bones.

12. Get support! If your balance is poor, don’t hesitate to use a cane or walking stick—even if it’s just around the house or when using stairs—to ensure you don’t take any unnecessary tumbles.

13. Lighten up! Always turn on lights before entering a room, even if you’re just going in for a moment, so you don’t trip on anything unseen.

14. Keep to level pathways. Avoid shortcuts off established walkways. Loose gravel, uneven ground and other objects can trip you up.

15. Anchor your purse. Wear your purse diagonally over your chest instead of on your shoulder, where it could slip off. The sudden movement could skew your balance.

16. Get your vision checked. Make sure you’re seeing clearly so you can get where you’re going.

17. Stash stuff safely. Store clothing, dishes, food and other necessities within easy reach, so you don’t have to climb on furniture or countertops.

18. Slip-proof outdoor stairs. Repaint to give them texture and add a little sand to the paint mixture. (Here’s how: Give stairs an initial coat of paint. Mix an additional two cups of paint with ¾ cup of sand. Paint the mixture on; let dry.)

19. Stay safe in the tub. Use nonslip mats for tub baths and showers.

20. Slow down. Do one thing at a time so your focus doesn’t scatter and trip you up. Always pay attention to what you’re doing—and to what’s in front of you!

21. Move cautiously when lighting is dim. Give your eyes time to adjust when going between well-lighted and dark areas.

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