The news an elderly relative has broken a hip tends to sound alarm bells, perhaps more than breaking another bone would.
That’s because a hip fracture dramatically increases an older person’s risk of death. One in three adults aged 50 and over dies within 12 months of suffering a hip fracture. Older adults have a five-to-eight times higher risk of dying within the first three months of a hip fracture compared to those without a hip fracture. This increased risk of death remains for almost ten years.
Risk factors for hip fractures
Age is a key risk factor, with hip fractures more likely to occur in those aged 65 or older. They’re primarily a result of a fall, or when the hip collides with a solid object such as a kitchen bench. However, they can also occur when there has been little or no trauma, such as standing up.
Cognitive impairment such as dementia is a common factor that increases the risk of falling. Frailty, poor vision, the use of a combination of medications, and trip hazards in the home also increase the likelihood of falls. Osteoporosis, a disease characterised by low bone mass and degradation of bone tissue, is another significant risk factor for hip fractures.
Hip fractures are breaks in the thighbone (femur) just below the hip joint. They are serious injuries that most often occur in people aged 65 and older. Women are especially vulnerable to hip fractures.
Hip fractures can limit mobility and independence. Most hip fractures require surgery, hospitalization, and extended rehabilitation.
Most people who previously lived independently before hip fracture require assistance afterward. This can range from help from family members and home health professionals, to admittance to a nursing home or other long-term health facility.
Safety tips you need to know…
Being weak, small or old is not necessarily a weakness in a disaster situation if you have enough knowledge, skills and the proper mindset to survive.
Skills and knowledge take time to acquire, and so is the mindset that makes you strong and able to survive when the world around you is falling apart. Knowledge is a supply that you can carry with you freely. It doesn’t weight anything and it can’t be stolen. If you want to stay safe, you need to know how to stay healthy and deter those people who think you’re too weak to protect yourself.