Hip fractures are a common cause of injury and hospitalizations among seniors worldwide. Fractures can lead to hip replacements and increased mortality among the elderly. In 2003, alone, hip fractures accounted for 30% of all hospitalized patients, according to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. It is clear, given these statistics, that preventing falls and their resulting hip fractures is especially important.
Here we highlight some of the ways hip fractures can be prevented:
- Exercises to improve strength and bone density — A combination of resistance training, such as swimming and water exercises, weight-bearing exercises such as walking and dancing, and flexibility exercises such as those done in yoga and Tai chi all improve strength, bone density and balance. Weight-bearing exercises are particularly effective for improving and maintaining bone density.
- Check your medications — If you’re currently taking medications that cause dizziness or drowsiness that can increase your chances of a fall, talk to your doctor about possible alternative medications.
- Quit smoking and keep alcohol consumption at a minimum — Smoking is linked to decreased bone density, although it is not clear whether there is a direct link or if it has to do with the other lifestyle choices of smokers. Alcohol can cause dizziness, increasing the likelihood of a fall.
- Eat a well-balanced diet — A diet rich in vitamin D and calcium is important for maintaining bone density and helping prevent bone loss.
- Remove trip hazards from your home — Electrical cords, items obstructing walkways, throw rugs, and too much furniture can all present trip hazards. Getting rid of excess items and furniture could significantly reduce your chances of falling at home.
These and other measures can help you prevent hip fractures, a leading cause of injury and disability among seniors. If you or a loved one has suffered a fractured hip and need in-home care or assisted living services, the caring and professional staff at Always Best Care is here to help. With dozens of facilities across the country, Always Best Care may have a facility near you. Visit our website or call us at 1-855-470-2273 for more information.