Hip fracture is common as we age. Millions of elderly are hospitalized every year due to hip fracture. Research says, nine out of 10 hip fracture in the elderly occur in over the age of 60.
A broken bone in the elderly is alarming as it can get fatal. In general, an elderly hip fracture can cause immense pain, which creates a significant set back in the senior’s lives. In addition to tremendous pain, it affects their social life, increases dependency, and degrades their mental health.
Therefore, it is essential to understand everything about fractured hips and elderly when providing care.
Causes Of Hip Fracture In The Elderly
Many factors cause a broken hip for aging. Here are a few significant reasons for a hip fracture.
Falls in the elderly is one of the most common causes of a broken bone. The reason elderly being more prone to falls is due to loss of coordination, poor eyesight, reduced strength, and lack of balance. As a result, when they fall, they tend to have an elderly hip fracture due to weaker bones.
Osteoporosis is a medical condition that is more common in the elderly. It causes the bones to become brittle and fragile. With this disease, even everyday activities can lead to elderly hip fracture.
Lack of healthy food in the elderly diet might lead to loss of their bone mass. Poor nutrition will lower bone mineral density, which might result in hip fractures.
Taking medications is a part of an elderly’s everyday life. However, taking an overdose of drugs can cause some psychoactive effects on the elderly. As a result, they might lose balance and are more prone to falls.
Tobacco and Alcohol Use:
Smoking and drinking can cause harmful effects on the body. It decreases the bone mass causing bone loss. A loss in bone mass, in turn, leads to a broken bone.
Research says women are prone to hip fracture than men as their estrogen levels decrease after menopause.
Signs and Symptoms
Here are a few signs and symptoms of a hip fracture in the elderly
- 1Severe pain in the hip or groin
- 2Inability to move after the fall
- 3Inflammation in the injured area
- 4Stiffness and bruising in the hip area
- 5Inability to walk
It is vital to visit the doctor when it is an elderly hip fracture as it is life-threatening. Doctors will be able to diagnosis a hip fracture with the above symptoms, but an MRI or an X-Ray will confirm the break and identify the type of fracture.
Treatment For Elderly Hip Fracture
Treatment for hip fracture in the elderly involves determining the right surgery, followed by proper care.
Your medical practitioner might suggest your elderly a surgery based on various factors like location, severity, age, and underlying health conditions. However, here are a few conventional treatments your elderly might undergo.
- 1Using Screws: Metal screws and even plates are attached to the fractured bone. This surgery is for the elderly with low severity.
- 2Hip Replacement: When the damage to the bone is severe, then your elderly will have to undergo total hip replacement surgery. Although this surgery is for people with high severity, it is cost-effective with better long-term outcomes.
- 3Partial Hip Replacement: Your practitioner might suggest a partial hip replacement for elderly who have underlying health conditions. Additionally, this treatment is for the elderly who have broken bones at the ends of the femur. For this case, only the damaged areas are replaced.
Recovery From Hip Fracture
Once the surgery is over, your elderly will require care and assistance for improvement. With improper care, complications might develop after surgery, which can be dangerous. Post-surgery complications can include infection, blood clots, and pneumonia, which are life-threatening. In addition to this, if your elderly suffer from other medical conditions, it is necessary to be cautious in preventing these complications as they may lead to death.
Recovery after a hip fracture in an elderly is a long process. It might take nearly 6 to 9 months for complete recovery depending upon their age, complications, and other health conditions.
In the initial stages, after the surgery is complete, your elderly will require full assistance. You can either provide your support or ask for professional help.
However, they will be involved with both physical therapists and occupational therapists right after their surgery. Both these therapists play a significant role in the healing and recovery process of the fractured hip and elderly.
Physical therapy will increase motion, balance, and strengthen the joints. A physical therapist will begin the exercises the day after the surgery. Further, your elderly will undergo occupational therapy to build independence where they will learn to walk, and start doing everyday activities on their own. Despite getting the right care, the time to heal from a hip fracture for your elderly will vary.
Studies suggest that only 25% of elderly post-hip fracture regain their full strength and lead an independent post-fall life. While 50% depend on cane or walkers for the rest of their lives whereas the remaining 25% need caregivers help to lead their life.
Prevention Tips For Hip Fracture In The Elderly
“Prevention is better than Cure” – when it comes to fractured hips and elderly. So, here are some tips for you to avoid your elderly from falls.
- 1Create A Safe Space: it is crucial to ensure your elderly space is safe. Install handles and railings, remove loose carpets, obstacles on the path, and add lights on the pathways and ensure they have enough light throughout the day
- 2Adequate Exercise: Physical fitness is a way of improving balance and flexibility of your elderly. To increase their strength, ensure they do exercises regularly.
- 3Load Up On Vitamins: It is essential to provide your dear one with ample nutrition, so it lowers their risk of low bone density.Check their Medications: Some medications have side effects which may cause dizziness or drowsiness. So ensure they are perfectly fine with their medications.Eye Health: Visit the practitioner and ensure their eyesight is proper. Poor vision can lead to falls, which in turn may leave them with a broken hip.
- 6Right Shoes: Always ensure they wear the right shoes. Slippery ones can make them lose balance and lead to a fall.
These are simple ways in which you can prevent falls in your elderly. Despite many other causes for a fractured hip and elderly, these minor fixes can help them stay safe.
How Karev Home Caregivers Can Help
At Karev Home Caregivers, we understand every individual is unique, and hence, we have tailor-made programs to provide care and assistance for your elderly. Our experts offer the right attention, which will make a significant difference in your elderly’s life. With our team to support your elderly is in the right hands. It is our privilege to provide care for your elderly.
You can focus on the relationship with your dear one while we will focus on improving your elderly’s health. We will go beyond your expectations. We will amaze you!