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Preventing Future Fractures - Once is enough

Story of a relative who is diagnosed with Osteoporosis and fracture her arm.

Photo of Maggie Fung
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How does your research relate to the Challenge?

Friends and family member around me are mostly 50 and above. I took care of my aunt who has osteoporosis and fractured her arm due to an accident. Also, one of my friend who is in her early 50s has just diagnosed with osteoporosis.

Tell us about your research:

Interview an Osteoporosis patient: 1. Age: 69 Female Asian 2. Current situation: Independent and live in an apartment by herself 3. Diagnosed Osteoporosis over 15 years and Broke her arms once 4 Comments she made during the interview: I had no idea what Osteoporosis is before. When the doctor said my bone density is lower than normal so I am more fragile compare to other people and easily get fractures. I was very shocked as it was the first time I heard about Osteoporosis. If I know osteoporosis earlier, I can take steps to prevent this from happening. The slipped and fell on the floor has caused a lot of pain. I was unable to work at that time and I have a 24-hrs carer to help me with my daily activities. It took me a long time to recover. I won't go out when it's raining outside. I will pay special attention when I walk because I really scare of falling again. I will ware shoes that are non-slip only. 5. Any family members diagnosed with Osteoporosis? No. Observation from my research: So far only women. I have not heard or met male patient.

What is an insight, question, or provocation that might inspire others during this challenge?

Early education on osteoporosis is very important. Not many people know about osteoporosis and how to prevent osteoporosis at an early age. For the osteoporosis patient, it will be good to have some professional or social workers and etc. to talk with. Maybe Osteoporosis patient to connect between them to share their story or everyday life?

Tell us about yourself

I am new research and development manager who is working for an entrepreneur. My background is Chinese Asian. I am a caregiver as my dad is a senior and disable. Also, I took care of my aunt who has osteoporosis and fractured her arm due to an accident.

If you participated in a Research Event, tell us which Chapter or city you came from:

Sydney, Australia


Join the conversation:

Photo of Manisha Laroia

Thanks Maggie Fung for sharing your insights in the Research Phase! What ideas did your findings spark? Now is the time to share them in the Ideas Phase!

As you work on your submission, be sure to check out the following resources:
1] Challenge Personas and Journey Map: These stories provide a window into the lives of older adults and the health system, for which you are designing
2] Resources Page: This collection of resources spans osteoporosis, designing for health, and the Challenge process to support you in crafting your submission.
3] Evaluation Criteria: This is the criteria against which we will be evaluating your ideas. We highly suggest revisiting this throughout the Challenge process.
Here is the page:

Submissions must be published on the OpenIDEO platform by July 3rd at 5 p.m. PST - but we HIGHLY encourage you to upload the first draft of your submission sooner rather than later, so our community team has time to provide feedback on your idea and because it’s just more fun.

Let me know if you have any questions. We'll also be hosting Office Hours on June 5th 8:30 AM PST. Add it to your calendar or save this link to join. []

See you in the Ideas Phase,
OpenIDEO Community Fellow

Photo of Melissa Leung

Very interesting post Maggie. Thanks for sharing. What do you think people should do to become more aware of this topic?

Photo of Stephanie Leung

Osteoporosis is common amongst the older adult population. Unfortunately, falls leading to breaks and fractures are also more likely to happen for an older person. Bone density decreases as age increases, and it’s important to take preventive measures early on to lower the risk of having a debilitating fall. Healing from a fracture can take months, and depending on a person’s prior level of independence, the recovery time can be much longer. A common visit to the emergency room is often a fall which causes a fracture in the hip. That simple hairline fracture can set a person back by spending time in the hospital and skilled nursing facility for rehab. Even then, they may discharge home with professional care or move into an assisted living facility if they had lived alone previously and now need some type of custodial care or assistance. While falls are not entirely preventable, the outcome of having a fall can be less harmful with prior knowledge and treatment for an osteoporosis diagnosis.

Photo of piyush kamble

Thank you Maggie for sharing your research here. I appreciate your thought about educating the people beforehand about osteoporosis rather than come to know after bone fracture happens.

Photo of Katherine Dimou

Good overview Maggie, early prevention is key and certainly it wouldn't hurt to spread awareness to the younger demographic since there is a alot that can be done early for prevention like a balanced calcium rich diet. Osteoperosis is a condition that just about effects every family unit or will at some stage. I have been researching the benefits of Vitamin D to aid in the absorption of Calcium for bones, I know Australia has a high rate of Vit D deficiencies, it always help to take vitamins that contain the two.

Photo of Ellie Tyson

osteoporosis is a symptom that cannot be ignored. It is commonly heard that elderly people are diagnosed with osterporosis. Therefore, it is crucial for people to have a better knowledge on how to prevent osteoporosis while they are young.

Photo of Maggie Fung

Thank you for your message Ellie Tyson. I fully agree with you. Osteoporosis’s symptom, prevention and treatment need to be widely educated. For my aunt’s case, she had no idea about this disease. It took her almost a year to recovered. Also due to her age, she has loss a bit of her muscle mass. I think It is important to help Osteoporosis patients who had the first fracture to understand and have the knowledge of exercise. It can help build & maintain muscle mass and strength so reduce the risk factors for falls.

Photo of Houseplants Dream

The key to prevent osteoporosis is definitely having the right diet and exercise plans. Well done Maggie for sharing personal experiences in depth with us.

Photo of Maggie Fung

Thanks Houseplants Dream for your comment. I think there are more then right diet and exercise. In fact, one of my colleague’s sister has diagnosed with osteoporosis in her early 50s. She lives in a very healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and do excise outdoor every day but still had osteoporosis. She broke her leg last year and now scared living the house by herself because she is so worry that she will go through this again if she falls and slips. Hope this platform can help people to prevent the 2nd fall.