Bone density decreases due to age, which is a major reason why elderly adults are more at risk for hip fractures. Not only are hip fractures a significant injury to an aging person, but the recovery can be long and difficult. As surgery is the only way to treat a broken hip, plus months of reduced mobility and physical therapy, seniors must rely on family members, elder care assistance, physical therapists, and community services to get through it.
Family caregivers have a particularly important duty to support and guide their elderly relative through the weeks and months of recovering from hip surgery. With the right recovery team in place and a dedication to getting well again, elderly adults can usually make a full recovery. However, there are many factors that must come together for this to happen. Hip surgery can lead to many other health complications, so it’s critical that family members, therapists, elder care aides, and others on the recovery team are focused on the elderly person’s needs.
Here are a few tips on what seniors need to do to recover from a hip fracture and hip surgery:
- After the surgery, the elderly patient usually spends 3-5 days in the hospital. Then they are released to go home with a caregiver.
- A physical therapist and occupational therapist will visit them in the hospital the day after surgery. They will assist the senior with movements in bed and sitting at the edge of the bed.
- After a few days, the elderly patient should be standing and taking a few steps with support.
- In the first few days, caregivers should watch for side effects of the surgery such as vomiting, nausea, fatigue and dizziness.
- There will be certain restricted movements as given by the doctor and therapist that the elderly person should avoid for at least 6 to 8 weeks after the surgery.
- After the elderly patient is released to go home, they are required to attend physical therapy regularly. The focus is on regaining mobility and building up strength.
- Caregivers should work closely with the doctor and the therapist to help their elderly relative reach recovery goals such as using a walker, walking up and down stairs, and doing different self-care tasks.
- There are many post-surgery precautions to take so that the elderly patient avoids infection, bedsores, and pneumonia so caregivers and elder care aides need to follow the doctor’s orders in detail.
- Many seniors benefit from elder care assistants that help them with bathing, toileting, and dressing during their recovery time.
- The elderly adult will have a more limited range of movement than before, so they need to meet with an occupational therapist to learn the proper techniques for simple activities of daily living, such as bending and sitting, to prevent injury.
Recovery levels from a hip fracture depend a lot on the elderly adult’s overall health, prior mobility, their support team, the type of surgery and their motivation to get better. When all those factors work together, there’s every reason for an elderly adult to regain their quality of life.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Liberty Lake, WA, please contact the friendly staff at Love at Home Senior Care, today. Call (509) 204-4088
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