By Jess Walter
According to statistics, falls result in 95 per cent of hip fractures in Canada, and one in three senior women will suffer a hip fracture in their lifetime. Hip fractures are most common in those aged 65 years and over. The elderly are unfortunately more at risk of serious injury from falls than any other group because of the presence of conditions such as osteoporosis. Women are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis than men, and therefore hip fractures are more common in elderly women who suffer a fall. But why do seniors fall so frequently?
Prone to falls
Elderly people may experience sudden drops in blood pressure, which can lead to dizzy spells and weakness or shaking. Furthermore, the muscles naturally weaken as you age, making it more difficult to regain your balance after stumbling. The elderly often also have poor eyesight, making them more likely to fall over obstructions, or they might have an inner-ear condition leading to poor balance.
A person who suffers a hip fracture will require surgery. There are different types of surgery for the different types of fracture, and the procedure can be carried out under a general or spinal anaesthetic. Depending on the seriousness of the fracture, the individual might need a metal plate to be inserted or even a full hip replacement. Although these procedures are very common due to the frequency of this type of injury, they are not without potential complications. Healing is also prolonged due to age.
Are you caring for someone and are concerned about their risk of hip fracture? Try encouraging your loved one to wear a medical alarm that alerts the emergency services at the touch of a button. Help prevent falls by installing grab bars, anti-slip mats, or a walk-in tub for those with limited mobility who want to remain independent. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Jess Walter is a freelance health writer who provides advice to seniors and their families to help them prevent hip fractures.