Elderly Lives Matter®

The Most Common Cause Of Hip Fractures In Elderly People

On Behalf of | Aug 7, 2023 | Falls

Hip fractures can have severe consequences for the elderly, leading to decreased mobility, increased dependence on others for their needs and complications that can lead to permanent disabilities and death.

According to a medical study, falls account for 98% of hip fracture patients, with the vast majority (76%) having fallen on their side where the femur of their leg connects with the pelvis to form the actual hip joint. According to UCLA Health, more than 300,000 seniors 65 years of age and older end up in the hospital due to hip fractures every year.

It’s important to note that falls don’t have to be from any great height to lead to hip fractures, especially in the elderly. As they age, seniors tend to become more frail due to lost bone mass and conditions like osteoporosis (especially for women), so a fall from standing height alone is enough to cause significant injury.

What can be done to prevent falls in seniors?

While there’s no way to 100% eliminate all the danger, there are things that can help manage the risk to your loved one:

  • Make sure they have adequate nutrition: It takes calcium and Vitamin D to maintain bone health, and many seniors don’t get enough of either in their diets. Make sure that they either get plenty of dairy products, leafy greens and nutrient-fortified food items – or the necessary supplements to preserve bone health.
  • Ask for bone density testing: Advocate for your senior with their medical providers, if you can, for bone density testing. There are now medications that can, with early intervention, reverse bone loss and keep your senior safer.
  • Make sure that fall-prevention techniques are being used: If a senior is already a fall risk, it’s important to make sure their caregivers are taking reasonable steps to prevent incidents. For example, their caregivers should make sure that seniors always have their assistive devices, such as walkers or canes, when they’re ambulatory.

Many devastating falls among seniors could be prevented, especially in medical settings, by increasing staffing and improving training and fall-risk protocols. If your loved one breaks their hip in a fall at a nursing home, rehab facility or hospital, you have every right to question whether or not negligence was involved.

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