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Preventing Hip Fractures in the Elderly

By Nikhil Mehta, 9:00 am on

A hip fracture occurs when the femur, which is located below the hip joint, breaks. These types of fractures are more prevalent in seniors over the age of 65 and are 70 percent more likely to occur in women. A hip fracture usually happens because of bones weakened by osteoporosis. Once a fracture occurs, the senior must go through hospitalization, surgery, and rehabilitation.

If your loved one has had a hip fracture, he or she may require assistance with daily tasks. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional 24-hour care. Palm Desert seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Here are a few ways seniors can reduce the risk of hip fractures. 

Stay Active

Engaging in regular physical activity or exercise programs benefits a senior’s cardiovascular system, cognitive function, reflexes, balance, and overall strength. In addition, exercise increases bone strength. Bone is made of living tissue. Similar to muscle tissue, a lack of exercise can lead to weakening due to mineral loss. Doctors recommend walking and resistance training to increase bone strength. Tai chi and yoga are also great for increasing balance and flexibility. 

Wear Proper Footwear

If a senior woman has osteoporosis, her bones are weakened, and her balance may not be optimal. Wearing high-heeled shoes increases the risk of losing balance and tripping, falling, and fracturing a hip. Low-heeled shoes that provide adequate support and feature rubber soles are recommended. Older adults might also consider wearing shoes indoors because just wearing stockings or slippers can also increase the risk of slipping and falling. 

Install Adequate Lighting

As adults age, various vision changes naturally occur. One of these is a diminished ability to see light contrasts. In a low-light environment, the risk of tripping over objects increases. To ensure sufficient light, your loved one should consider installing overhead lighting and using nightlights. A bedside flashlight helps illuminate pathways if your loved one wakes up in the middle of the night or early in the morning. 

A professional caregiver can help your loved one prevent trips and falls if he or she gets up at night. When considering in-home senior care, Palm Desert, CA, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.

Evaluate Medications

Seniors often require various prescription medications for medical conditions that develop later in life. However, many formulations can cause dizziness or a loss of coordination. High doses can increase the side effects. Medications posing a possible risk include: 

  • Anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications
  • Sleep inducing formulas
  • Anti-seizure medications
  • Certain cardiac prescriptions 
  • Hypertension prescriptions
  • Muscle relaxers or antispasmodics
  • Corticosteroids
  • Prevent Falls

The chance of hip fractures increases in seniors who have weakened bones. Keep pathways to your loved one’s home clutter free. Install carpet and nonslip plastic runners in high traffic areas. Remove throw rugs. Install handrails on stairways and in bathrooms, and make sure your loved one uses a rubberized mat in the shower or tub. 

Evaluate Bone Density

Seniors should consider undergoing a bone density analysis to determine the strength of their bones. If bones are found to be less than optimal density, doctors commonly prescribe calcium supplements and other medications to increase density. 

Make Dietary Changes

A recent study by researchers from Ohio State University revealed that women who consumed a diet with too many foods that cause inflammation increased the risk of bone fracture by 50 percent. Consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and foods containing beneficial fats reduces inflammation.

It is vital to prevent fall in seniors, especially if they have a serious medical condition such as Alzheimer’s. If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Palm Desert seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that helps slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to. Call (760) 345-0001 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly and knowledgeable Care Manager.