Tips for Reducing Fall Injury Risk for Seniors with Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis affects millions of people throughout the United States and the statistics of those seniors suffering from severe injuries as a result of the bone weakness caused by the condition are staggering. On average, four out of every five men over the age of 50, and two out of every three women in the same age group, will experience an osteoporotic fracture. These injuries are not just painful when they occur, they can cause lingering negative effects on your parent’s health, well-being, and quality of life, even increasing mortality risk.
Fortunately, studies indicate that a senior with osteoporosis is not necessarily at increased risk of experiencing a fall. This means that basic fall-reduction efforts can be highly effective for such seniors. The risk of serious injury, however, is higher, which makes it important that you focus your efforts on reducing the risk of the injuries themselves.
Use these tips to help reduce fall injury risk for an elderly adult living with osteoporosis:
- Padding. Talk to your parent’s doctor about the possibility of your parent wearing hip padding. Studies have shown that wearing trochanteric padding can provide protection against hip fractures for seniors with osteoporosis.
- Reach out. If your parent is falling, they should try to reach out and grab onto something to slow their fall or put their hands out so that they land on their hands rather than on their hip. While they might still suffer a fracture to their arm or their wrist, these injuries are not as severe or dangerous as hip fractures.
- Fall back. Sideways falls are far more dangerous than falls in other directions. If possible, your parent should try to fall back and land on their buttocks rather than falling to the side. If this is not possible, they should try to fall forward and catch themselves.
If you have noticed increased challenges in your senior’s life, you are concerned about their well-being or quality of life, or you simply feel that they might benefit from extra attention, now may be the perfect time for you to consider starting home care for them. An in-home senior care services provider can be in the home with your parent on a customized schedule to ensure that they have access to the highly personalized services that they need, when they need them. This means that their individual needs, challenges, and limitations will be addressed in a way that is right for them, and that you can have greater peace of mind knowing that even when you are not with your parent, they are in good hands. These services can range from providing safe and reliable transportation that encourages independence and ensures their needs are met, to providing physical assistance with personal care tasks such as bathing and eating. Whatever the tasks, they will be designed to promote the best quality of life possible for your loved one.