Debra is 72 years old and lives with her husband, Gene. One night as she was getting out of the tub, her leg slipped from under her and she landed on her right hip. Debra was in intense pain and not able to get up, so she called for Gene. He called an ambulance who took her to the emergency room (ER). The ER doctor ordered an X-ray of her right hip. Unfortunately, the X-ray revealed a fracture. How can you help avoid a hip fracture?
- Exercise regularly to strengthen your legs and improve balance.
- Ask your doctor to look over your medication to point out those that may make you dizzy or drowsy.
- Make sure to have your eyes checked each year.
- Be screened for osteoporosis. One bone mass measurement every 24 months is covered in full for Viva Medicare members who meet certain conditions.
- Take a good look around your home to make sure there are no tripping hazards, such as a loose rug or chipped tiles.
- Consider installing grab bars in your shower.
- If you do have a fracture be sure to talk to your doctor about having a bone density test performed and/or getting on an osteoporosis medication.
Did you know?
Most hip fracture happen to people who are older than 65. Older adults are more prone to hip fractures because bones become weaker with age. This bone weakening is called osteoporosis.
- Medication and eye and balance problems can make older adults more likely to trip and fall.
- Falling is the most common reason for hip fractures.
- Surgery and prolonged rehabilitation follow a hip fracture, in most cases.
- One out of five hip fracture patients die within a year of the injury.
- White women are more likely to have hip fractures than African American or Asian women.