Hip Fractures in the Elderly
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of September 2013, hip fractures in the elderly account for 2.3 million visits to the emergency room every year. This means that approximately one third of the seniors in the United States fall every year. These falls often come as a result of such things as confusion, dizziness, loss of balance and weakness. This having been said, there are several things that can be done in order to attempt to avoid hip fractures in the elderly.
The first thing to consider is the safety of the building that the elderly individual resides in. Making sure that trip and fall hazards are as close to eliminated as possible is a sure way to cut down on the chance that that elderly person will have a fall and fracture a hip. This includes removing items that might clutter the walkways through the house, removing the runner carpets, throw rugs and anything that might stick up and making sure that all loose boards, thresholds and walkways have a smooth transition.
Walker or Cane
If the elderly individual has difficulty maneuvering either at home or out and about, make sure that a walker or cane is available for use. Talk to the individuals physician about these items and making sure that they are appropriate for the elderly individual's height and weight and that they have rubber ends to help with slipping. The right cane or walker can really help the individual to stay upright.
Make sure that the individual has assistance getting in and out of the home, a vehicle, shopping centers and doctor's offices. This little bit of help can make all the difference in getting them safely from one destination to the other. It also allows you to take note of how they are doing on their own two feet. Take care to find out if they are having any difficulty maintaining their balance.
Installation of hand rails where necessary in locations such as hallways, stairways, front steps, bathrooms and showers is an excellent way to give them the extra support necessary to avoid a fall and hip fracture. This also helps them to retain independence as they will be able to move about the home more freely with the use of the hand rails.
Talk to the Physician
Regular eye and hearing testing is essential to making sure that they don't have any issues that could easily affect their ability to stay upright. Make sure that they are getting the very best care possible for preventative reasons. Medications that they are taking could also affect their balance and may require that they stand and sit more slowly than usual. This may keep them from losing their balance and having a fall that might fracture their hip.
Care for Bones
Of course, taking the proper vitamins and supplements as prescribed by their physician and eating healthy meals can help their bones to stay stronger longer. This will assist them in avoiding easily broken bones and help to prevent hip fractures. The proper amount of calcium is essential to long term care and strong bones for them.
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