At Safety In Place, we talk a lot about fall prevention as a means of keeping seniors safe while they live in their own homes. After all, fall related injuries hospitalize seniors five times more than any other type of injury, so it stands to reason that senior safety and fall prevention go hand in hand. It is never easy watching our parents, grandparents, and other loved ones become more fragile over time, but taking the proper precautions like installing grab bars, improving lighting throughout the home, and eliminating slippery rugs can seriously improve the overall safety of a home.
Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and when an aging loved one falls it can be devastating and leave us feeling helpless. As a society, we have no choice but to entrust the health and well-being of that person to the experts in our hospitals and emergency rooms. Our focus quickly shifts from fall prevention to recovery and rehabilitation, but just because we’ve passed the caregiving torch temporarily to professionals, doesn’t mean we can’t help. Understanding the implications of possible injuries and treatments from falling is just as important as preventing them for seniors.
Emergency staff is no stranger to falls; every 13 seconds a senior is seen in an emergency room due to a fall. In particular, hip injuries are the most common injuries that can occur as a result of falling. According to the CDC:
We’d like to think that if we or someone we love fractures their hip from a fall, once in the hands of a capable and trained medical professional, the road to recovery is not far ahead. Hip injuries can be complicated though, and if an aging adult has any preexisting conditions or other risk factors, a hip replacement could be necessary. While this procedure is common, knowing the facts about hip injuries and procedures to fix them can help you make important decisions about your aging loved one’s recovery.
Recall Center is an organization dedicated to providing seniors with important information regarding practical drug, device, and healthcare safety information such as all the facts you need to know about hip replacements. According to their website, hip fractures cost more than $11 billion dollars each year; all the more reason to familiarize ourselves with this common occurrence. They also provide important information on medical-device recalls and other FDA updates to ensure quality health care for seniors.
We may not be able to be there to catch someone when they fall in their own home, but we can collaborate with others such as Recall Center, who share in our love for protecting seniors to offer the best resources in senior safety.