A hip fracture in an elderly adult is one of the most significant injuries they can sustain. The impact upon their life is immediate, with many long-term ramifications. Unfortunately, hip fractures in the aging population are all too common. The recovery process from a broken hip is quite difficult for seniors to manage on their own and in many ways, their life might never be the same again.
Thousands of seniors break their hips each year, and the majority of these injuries is caused by slip and fall accidents. Elderly adults have a high risk of suffering from a fall at the store, in the parking lot or even just walking around in their own home. Along with a diminished sense of balance, many seniors struggle with dizziness and vertigo due to aging, medications and high blood pressure. Sometimes, poor vision is to blame for a fall or it is simply due to a cluttered floor or loose rug. No matter what the cause, slip and fall accidents can lead to a life-changing hip fracture.
Many adults fall without breaking their hip, but elderly adults are more susceptible to fractures because of their loss of bone mass. Diseases like osteoporosis can also contribute to brittle bones. A lifetime of low calcium and vitamin D intake may also lead to weaker bones in old age. Unfortunately, when aging bones in the hip undergo an impact, they are more likely to fracture than a younger adult’s bones. Likewise, it takes longer for an elderly person’s bones to heal due to similar issues with weak bones.
Treatment of hip fractures...
The only way to treat a broken hip is for the elderly adult to have a surgery. Doctors put pins or a plate into the bones to realign them. Recovering from surgery is long and intense, with many seniors experiencing a lot of limitations. Mobility is restricted for many weeks, making it hard for seniors to stay independent and accomplish many simple daily tasks. Family caregivers, home care assistants, community senior services and more often become part of an elderly person’s daily care as they are recovering from a broken hip.
How does this affect your senior?
Hip fractures become even more dangerous to elderly adults because they can introduce a number of health complications. Immobility for long periods of time can lead to bedsores, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, blood clots and reduced muscle mass. They become weaker due to lack of activity and exercise. Their risk of another fall increases as well, causing them to re-injure their broken hip or cause problems in an entirely new area of the body.
Not only is a hip fracture devastating to an elderly adult in terms of their health, but it can have a great impact on their independence. From a reliance on daily home care assistance to forgoing some of their favorite activities, elderly adults that are recovering from a broken hip must concentrate on the best recovery possible. Nearly half of seniors that experience a hip fracture are not able to live independently again, which is why it is one of the most devastating injuries they can experience.