This year, over 300,000 U.S. seniors will be hospitalized with a hip fracture — a serious injury for any elderly person. While some seniors recover relatively quickly after a broken hip, for most seniors, hip fracture recovery is both difficult and dangerous. Tips on Caregiving after at Hip Fracture
During hip fracture recovery, non-medical support from senior care providers and family caregivers can make a huge difference. During the recovery period, seniors are unable to perform many basic tasks and are at an elevated risk of a hospital readmission or mortality. Senior care — either by professional caregivers or family members — can help make day-to-day living easier and increase the chance of a full recovery. Tips on Caregiving after at Hip Fracture
If you have a spouse, parent, grandparent, or an elderly friend or relative who has experienced a hip fracture, are some of the steps that you and another caregiver can take to improve your loved one’s chance of recovery:
In helping a senior recover from a broken hip, care begins and ends with doctors’ orders. Your loved one’s doctor will have a full understanding of your loved one’s risk factors, the severity of his or her fracture, and the best options for your loved one’s recovery. When discussing your loved one’s recovery with his or her physician, be sure to take detailed notes on care directives and ask questions if there is anything you are unclear about.
Your loved one’s physician and insurer will coordinate physical therapy, which is typically provided in your loved one’s home or in a recovery facility. Therapy is generally performed multiple times a week and is crucial to helping your loved one heal and regain strength. Your loved one’s therapist will likely leave instructions for exercises that your loved one should perform between therapy sessions.
It is important that you make sure your loved one practices these exercises. Roughly 75% of seniors who suffer a broken hip never fully regain the ability to walk. Your loved one’s exercises will increase their chances of being part of the 25% that regain full walking ability and will decrease the likelihood that they will require a walker or wheelchair for the remainder of their life.
In the weeks and months after your loved one’s hip fracture, their mobility will be extremely limited. It will be impossible for your loved one to do many daily tasks on his or her own. This is where family caregivers and professional care workers come in.
Non-medical senior care during hip fracture recovery includes assistance with activities like bathing, dressing, hygiene, mobility, transferring, running errands, shopping for groceries, and preparing meals.
Part of providing senior care after a broken hip is also ensuring your loved one’s living place is safe. After a hip fracture, seniors often have balance and coordination issues, increasing the likelihood of a second fall, resulting in a refractured hip. To make your loved one’s home safer, you should consider strategies for how to fall-proof your home. These include improved lighting, removing clutter, keeping cords bundled up and away from walking areas, and installing weight-bearing railings/grab bars in stairways and bathrooms.
Senior care during hip fracture recovery also includes emotional and companionship components. The pain, isolation, and disability of a broken hip can often lead to sadness, despondency, and depression during the recovery period. Family caregivers can help relieve these feelings, whether by offering empathy and conversation or simply by providing a human presence.
Recovering from a hip fracture is a long and difficult process for most seniors. While your loved one’s fracture might heal within 6-8 weeks, it typically takes 9-12 months before seniors have recovered their strength, balance, and coordination.
During these months, your support, the assistance of other family members, and the help of professional caregivers, therapists, and doctors will be a major part of your loved one’s recovery. As a family senior care provider, you will also play a big role in preventing future falls and injuries.
If you have a loved one who requires senior care after a broken hip, professional non-medical care can make a big difference. At Visiting Angels, our caregivers regularly provide non-medical assistance through our Ready-Set-Go Home program, which provides care for seniors after coming home from the hospital. This program is designed to reduce the risk of complications and injury during recovery.
To learn more about this program and to schedule a free care consultation, contact your local Visiting Angels office today.
Tips on Caregiving after at Hip Fracture
Visiting Angels is a national, private duty network of senior care agencies. We are proud to be the nation’s leading provider of non-medical at home care services. With our elder care services, seniors can remain independent and live safely at home. Our senior care services include Social Care, Dementia Care, Alzheimer’s Care, End of Life Care, Companion Care, Private Duty Care, care to prevent hospital readmission, and so much more.
Compassionate, dignified at home senior care is close to home when you connect with your local Visiting Angels office by calling 800-365-4189.View All Articles