Avoid a broken hip that seriously limits mobility for healthy aging parents:
Keep Them Out of the Hospital!
A broken hip is a serious setback for an independent aging parent. Mobility and keeping aging parents up and about is very important. Even those who are fairly healthy have a serious risk of falling down and breaking a hip.
This occurs more commonly in women, but it can happen to men also. It can occur anytime of the day or night.
A common scenario is getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom without turning on the lights.
As caregivers, we need to be careful that there is a safe environment at the home to minimize falling- night lights, canes and walkers, side effects of medications and obstructions on the floor and in hallways.
The risks are serious. 10% of old people with these kinds of fractures can die just from the surgery and period of recovery from the surgery. The pain and reduced movement afterwards can lead to further problems:
- pain pills and their side effects,
- chest infections with bronchitis and pneumonia,
- becoming a lot less active and able to do
around the house.
Anything that helps maintain a sense of balance is very important to reduce falls.
- Practice standing on one foot and then the other and then not holding onto anything.
- Low impact movements like tai chi are excellent.
- The best exercise is always walking. Even a few minutes a few times a week can have measurable benefits on health and well-being.
The effect on balance, bone density and osteoporosis, strength, breathing and the cardiovascular system is primary.
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