A few years ago, I was at a restaurant enjoying a glass of wine with my fiancé when he received a call from his dad. His mum had tripped down the front steps and broken her leg. It was a small moment in time that had a huge impact on her life. She missed the holiday which she had been packing the car for, she was forced to stop going for her evening walk with friends (which was as much for mental fitness as it was for physical) and as a result she gained weight and her overall health deteriorated.
She wasn’t even 60.
Prior to this, I had associated bone breakage with two groups of people – overzealous children on the monkey bars or frail, elderly people who were unsteady on their feet. Certainly not my seemingly fit and healthy mother-in-law.
Now, I’ve never been one to be enormously engaged in nutrition and health. I love the outdoors and eat a balanced diet but I have never paid too much attention to the nutritional content of it however recently, I visited my parents-in-laws’ and walking down those steps, I stumbled and realised that I’d almost repeated history.
Later that week, my nan who was on holidays with my parents, had a fall. This wasn’t unusual – she’s been growing less steady on her feet – but sadly, this time she broke her hip. Through her recovery I’m seeing my nan lose some of her independence and so too my mum and aunty as they move more actively into roles as supporters and carers.
It’s also brought me closer to understanding the importance of strong foundations in my bones and has prompted me to make some changes.
I’m not in the position to make huge life changes - I have two small children, commute three hours for work each day and like most of the people my age, am exhausted just thinking about opening a can of baked beans, let alone making wholly nutritious meals every night! But, I have been able to bring more awareness into my day to day, that is serving as a preventative measure for my bones deteriorating as I get older.