How to live independently after a hip fracture
19th March 2014
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.
A hip fracture, while incredibly painful, can also be completely life-altering, leaving you unable to live in the same way as before. With the restricted mobility that comes from the effects of osteoporosis and a hip fracture, many find they are soon unable to carry out daily tasks easily or even move about as they had done previously.
This guide looks to introduce you to all the services and technological devices out there that can help you continue to live independently after a hip fracture and surgery. From home stairlifts to meals on wheels, there are a whole host of options available that can make life after osteoporosis that bit easier.
Hip fractures can occur as a result of many things but most commonly they come as a result of a fall. The elderly are far more likely to suffer a trip or fall than a younger person, as three in 10 over 65-year-olds are expected to suffer at least one fall a year - a figure that rises to half when they reach the age of 80.
Muscle weakness, low blood pressure, hip bursitis (or the inflammation of a hip bursa) and poor vision are all conditions that greatly affect the elderly and can lead to falls in the home but the other major condition that can result in a hip fracture is osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a condition where the spaces between bones grows larger, leading to the bones becoming weaker, less flexible and more prone to breaking; osteoporosis is more common in older people, as a loss in bone density is a common part of aging.
When it comes to hip replacement recovery following surgery, it is common to feel very vulnerable as the most common of tasks become difficult. In order to maintain a level of independence you may find that you need a helping hand when it comes to washing and cooking, and even the simplest of jobs such as getting dressed can be incredibly painful and difficult after you have damaged your hip joint. The main thing to remember is that it is always better to ask for help, as added pressure and straining your body after surgery can make the condition worse than it has ever been.
Following a hip fracture, if your doctor has declared that you need help at home you are entitled to help and advice from your local council’s social services department on the provision of home care so that you can keep a certain level of independence. See the Age UK website for further information.
As well as human assistance in certain daily tasks, many find technological aids can also make a real difference in making life more comfortable and aiding independence.
Osteoporosis can really highlight the importance of things we take for granted, such as daily washing and even walking down the stairs. Thankfully, mobility aids have come a long way in recent years and can look just as suitable in the home as your regular furniture. There are a huge range of mobility aids on the market and talking to a manufacturer can help with all your decisions.
By talking to a mobility aid provider about your condition, you can find out what aids could help around your particular home. Many can make home visits to assess whether certain models of stairlift would fit in your stairway, and can even measure to see whether their make of rise and recliner chair will fit through a doorway easily. Certain aids such as an easy access walk in shower can truly revolutionise the level of independence a hip fracture patient can achieve, as they will be able to manage without the help of a carer or relative again.
To find out more about hip fracture after-care and the impact of osteoporosis, see the NHS website.
Image Credit: Phalinn Ooi (flickr.com)