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NJ Senior Health
The body faces an endless list of problems in old age. One of these problems is brittle bones that tend to break easily and often.
There are more than 323,000 hospitalizations for hip fractures a year in the U.S., or more than 850 fractures a day. Most hip fractures occur in older women. White, post-menopausal women have a 1 in 7 chance of sustaining a hip fracture during their lifetime.
Here are some tips on how to help your senior recover from a broken hip:
- Talk with a physical or occupational therapist about assistive devices that can make your senior’s life easier and help him or her to be as independent as possible. These may include extra long shoehorns and devices that can help the person who is unable to bend dress themselves.
- With the assistance of devices, such as a long-handled sponge your senior will be able to do a lot to care for him or herself. A bath bench should also be helpful, as well as grab bars for getting in and out of the shower.
- Purchasing a raised toilet seat and installing grab bars next to the toilet should help your senior go to the bathroom unassisted.
- Slip-on shoes that are easy to get into and that have nonslip soles will be very helpful. Also, loose clothing that doesn’t go over the head and that can be tied in front can make dressing easier.
- You can hire trained and certified aging-in-place specialists who can come to your parent’s home and offer advice on how to make the home as safe and fall-proof as possible. These specialists can then make the necessary adjustments to the home.
- Other options are geriatric care managers and home care agencies whose employees have been trained to assess a senior’s home for falling risks – although your parent will then be left to make the necessary changes on his or her own.
- Encourage your senior to improve the function of their hip by exercising daily.
Here are some general suggestions that may help to prevent a fall:
- Rearrange the furniture to create an unobstructed passageway into and around all rooms
- Make sure no rugs or carpets bunch up or have frayed edges that could be tripped on, and that all rugs and carpets are securely anchored to the floor.
- Install grab bars in the bathroom and railings in all stairwells.
- Add lighting so that all stairs, exits and entrances are well lit and pose no hazard.
- Tape all cords to the wall.
- Warn your senior to only carry very small loads, as larger ones could cause a loss of balance.
- Check to see that the soles of any shoes your senior wears in the home don’t stick to the carpet and are not likely to cause falls.
- If possible, reduce the number of medications your senior takes, as taking four or more can affect one’s sense of balance
Posted by: Frank Esposito, Vice President of Expert Home Care. New Jersey’s Expert Home Care provides professional and reliable home health care and companion care for NJ elderly, helping them with their daily living activities since 1984. Please call us toll free at 800-848-2336 when you have home care related questions or need assistance for a loved one. Get a Free Home Care Assessment (a $375 value!) when you mention this post.