Nine out of every ten hip fractures involve individuals 60 and over, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A hip fracture can be caused by something as simple as tripping over a footstool. As for whether hip fractures are dangerous for seniors, the short answer is “yes.” Here’s what you need to know about hip fractures if you’re caring for an older loved one.
Why Hip Fractures Are Dangerous for Seniors
Hip fractures can be dangerous for seniors because the bone damage could be more severe if they already have issues with reduced bone density or arthritis. The healing and recovery process may also take longer if your loved one’s immune system is already compromised because of other health conditions or if he or she already has issues with mobility. An extended healing process could also contribute to:
• Anxiety and depression
• Increased confusion and agitation if your loved one has cognitive difficulties or dementia
• Muscle weakness if he or she is unable to get sufficient exercise
Seniors with hip fractures will need help with everyday activities while their bones mend. The type of senior care Columbus, OH, seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time.
How to Recognize Symptoms of Hip Fractures
Oftentimes, a senior is aware he or she may have broken a hip. However, if the break occurs at the head of the hip joint, the resulting symptoms may be less obvious. If this happens to your loved one, he or she may notice groin pain or have difficulty standing without being unsteady. Other signs and symptoms associated with hip fractures include stiffness in the hip/pelvic area and inflammation around the affected hip.
Why Seeking Treatment ASAP Is Essential
Hip fractures in seniors have the potential to be life-threatening, which is why it’s important to seek treatment right away if your loved one is showing signs of a hip injury. A diagnosis is usually made from the symptoms alone, although X-rays or an MRI scan may be done to determine the extent of the damage.
Surgery for a confirmed hip fracture is usually performed within 24 hours of arriving at a hospital or medical center. Treatment may involve correcting damage to the existing ball-and-socket hip joint. If the fracture is severe, artificial parts may need to be implanted to restore the hip’s normal range of motion, stability, and flexibility.
The quality of your loved one’s recovery will depend on the extent of the damage and how well he or she responds to follow-up care. While some seniors do recover fully from hip fractures, a return to a pre-fracture level of functioning occurs less than 50 percent of the time in older adults, according to WebMD.
Aging adults with hip fractures may need around-the-clock care while they heal at home. Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Columbus, OH, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place.
How Hip Fractures in Seniors Can Be Prevented
Not all hip fractures are entirely preventable, but there are steps you can take to reduce your loved one’s odds of experiencing a broken hip. Some of these include:
• Installing handrails where needed in your loved one’s home
• Placing skid-resistant mats in the bathroom
• Switching to chairs with armrests to provide added support
• Removing loose rugs and other fall hazards from your loved one’s home
• Placing frequently used items within easy reach
• Talking to your loved one’s doctor about medication changes if you’re noticing related issues with instability
• Increasing lighting in your loved one’s home so he or she can clearly see obstacles and avoid falling or tripping
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care services. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at (614) 481-8888 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.