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Old 01-02-2004, 08:18 AM   #1
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tjennings HB User
Broken Hip

My father-in-law just fell and broke his hip on New Year's Eve. He is 66, and has been having other health problems as well for some time now. My concern is, I feel both he and my mother-in-law are living in a fantasy land. They both act as though as soon as he gets out of surgery, he will be back to normal in a few days. He was having trouble getting around before he fell due to his other problems, and when the doctor brought up home health care help and rehab, they both just scoffed. I also just read that 1 out of 4 elderly people who break a hip die within the first year!

If anyone has dealt with a broken hip or had a family member who has, I would be very interested in knowing your experiences. I am trying to prepare myself and my husband so we can help them the best we can when they get home.

 
Old 01-02-2004, 01:18 PM   #2
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Re: Broken Hip

My M-I-L broke her hip at age 89, recovered, able to walk with walker and lived at least 3 more years. One year in house with our college age daughters and then 1 1/2 years at an independent living facility. She had a major heart attack before this and then a few years later after hip fracture had a major stroke. She had conjestive heart failure, hypertension, and COPD for years. She die from TIA's that became another major stroke.

If your father has the desire, he will be able to learn to walk again and live a good life. He is still young enough to recoup very well. Most likely the hip fracture will not cause his death, it will be other medical problems and they would happen whether he broke his hip or not. A lady in my Sunday School class broke her hip and is about same age as your dad. She fully recovered and kicks up here heels enjoying life with no walker or cane.

One reason people may only live 1 year after hip fracture is because they "give up" and become depressed and "no will to live". This happens with other medical problems too. They just finally give up the fight.

At this point I am sure your dad/mom both feel they can handle his recovery just fine without anyone else around. After all that is losing some of their independence and at ate 66 you do not want that to happen. Hard enough on people in their 80's-90' to agree to have help. However, your mom may or may not have the stamina and strength to take care of your dad. Much will depend on her health and how well she does under stress. At first your dad will need physical help to get dressed, bathe, etc.

The hip bone repair will not give pain but the incision and surrounding muscles that were disturbed will be painful. He will have to be willing to endure surgery pain in order to walk again. Regardless of what kind of surgery a person has, there is recovery time for the incision itself.

He must follow doctor's instructions and walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, in order to recover and regain his ability. If you don't use it, you lose it!!

After a person breaks their hip, they will be afraid of falling and breaking it again. Will take time for him to regain his confidence in being able to not fall. I would definitely do the home health care. A nurse will come out off and on to check on him, a physical therapist will come out and a home health aide will come to help him with his bath, etc. The physical therapist is a must. This will take lots of stress off your mother. Medicare pays for this service. I would purchase a bath bench that has 2 legs on outside of tub, back rest, and arm. He will be able to sit down outside the tub and then move over into tub while sitting on bench (be sure they have a nice long bath mat in tub to preven slipping). A hand held shower is a must. Please be advised that Medicare may or may not pay for rental of a bath bench. If they do, they will only pay up to the purchase price of one in rent and then monthly payments will be billed to you long after the bill has been run up. Best to just buy the bench and forget about Medicare paying for it. The bath bench with back rest and arm makes it so much easier to maneuver getting in and out of the tub area. A stool will work but greater chance of falling while trying to get over into tub and onto stool. Oh, a hand rail clamped on side of bathtub is good to assist in getting up and down and also getting out. It will help the person steady themselves.

My Sunday School teacher's husband fell and broke his hip, he is either in late 60's or in his 70's. He had physical therapy at hospital but is/was still afraid to walk for fear of falling. His wife could not go anywhere unless he was in bed and stayed there while she was gone. She was getting very weary of being tied to the house. He simply did not have the desire to suffer the pain of walking again. He is now walking with walker and doing better. Your mother will be chained to the house as a caregiver, for fear of what might happen while she is gone.

Having help at home will give your mother a chance to get out and do things out of the house for a while. At least go out into the yard and putter around.

Last spring my mother (age 93) fell during the night and broke her hip. She was recovering quite well in hospital but balked at putting weight on that leg. Actually, it was discovered later she had a "drop foot" due to nerve damage during surgery. She was transferred to physical rehab and contacted C-Defficle Infection and passed away in 36 hrs. One month later my dad (age 98) fell and broke his hip. He had conjestive heart failure (not treated, not diagnosed by doctors) and did not stand a chance of recovering. He made it thru surgery with only 25% heart function but it just was not enough to recover from surgery. He passed away after one week. I stayed day and night at hospital with both parents.

Hope this will be of some help to you.

 
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Old 01-02-2004, 02:17 PM   #3
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Re: Broken Hip

Thank you so much for the information. You sound very knowledgeable on the subject. I have printed out your response and will show it to my M-I-L. Hopefully this will help her realize they are going to need help.

When you spoke of people giving up, that is what I'm most concerned about. My F-I-L has always been very active and it drives him crazy to be cooped up or to ask people for help. He used to jog everyday up until a couple of years ago when his other health problems started. (We still don't know what's wrong with him. He has seizures and blackouts and constant tremors. That's why he fell in the first place. He is getting a referral to Scott & White and hopefully they will be able to diagnose him). Anyway, he has been in a state of depression ever since, and I'm scared this hip break is going to really undermine his will and motivation. It was heartening to read about the people you know who went on for years and were able to thrive, I just don't know what category my F-I-L will fall into.


PS: I just spoke with my husband and my F-I-L is out of surgery. All went well. He is in a lot of pain, but pretty much out of it right now. The Doctor said he has good bone mass, whatever that means.

 
Old 01-02-2004, 03:40 PM   #4
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SusanGene HB User
Re: Broken Hip

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjennings
My father-in-law just fell and broke his hip on New Year's Eve. He is 66, and has been having other health problems as well for some time now. My concern is, I feel both he and my mother-in-law are living in a fantasy land. They both act as though as soon as he gets out of surgery, he will be back to normal in a few days. He was having trouble getting around before he fell due to his other problems, and when the doctor brought up home health care help and rehab, they both just scoffed. I also just read that 1 out of 4 elderly people who break a hip die within the first year!

If anyone has dealt with a broken hip or had a family member who has, I would be very interested in knowing your experiences. I am trying to prepare myself and my husband so we can help them the best we can when they get home.
Hi, My ex MIL fell and broke a leg at 90; she's now 92, very depressed and can barely walk after a pin (probably a rod) was placed in her leg. Just before this she and her H were going dancing twice weekly.
My MIL fell and broke her pelvis and refused ANY medical help !! She'd sit in a chair and cry, calling up her sister. Reason she wouldn't go to the hospital?
She didn't want her DOG to be left somewhere. She lived 4 years after that, dying at 84 after falling on her face in a nursing home. Nice place.
My mom died of a massive stroke @ 83 and told me that you break a bone FIRST and THAT sends you to the ground. Osteoporosis. Best of Luck.
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Susan Gene

 
Old 01-09-2004, 11:04 AM   #5
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musicmaker650 HB User
Re: Broken Hip

Quote:
Originally Posted by SusanGene
Hi, My ex MIL fell and broke a leg at 90; she's now 92, very depressed and can barely walk after a pin (probably a rod) was placed in her leg. Just before this she and her H were going dancing twice weekly.
My MIL fell and broke her pelvis and refused ANY medical help !! She'd sit in a chair and cry, calling up her sister. Reason she wouldn't go to the hospital?
She didn't want her DOG to be left somewhere. She lived 4 years after that, dying at 84 after falling on her face in a nursing home. Nice place.
My mom died of a massive stroke @ 83 and told me that you break a bone FIRST and THAT sends you to the ground. Osteoporosis. Best of Luck.
"Osteoporosis" Please do what you can to aviod it as long as you can! Women especially are vulnerable. My mother is 85 and in good health. She has been taking suppliments for many years. Her father died at 102. Her mother at 99. Heredity can be good or bad, but we're not totally at its mercy!

 
Old 01-10-2004, 12:09 PM   #6
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snowmelts HB User
Re: Broken Hip

Well isn't dosen't breaking a hip and having it replaced result in the same situation as voluntarilry replaceing the hip due to arthritis? No matter why you have the replacement done you will need definately therapy for at least month or more afterwards.

I'm in an apartment complex with a lot of people older than me.

My 62 yr old neighbor just did this about Holloween (replaced the hip because of arthritis) and she is fine. I was down to visit her this morning. Healing went nicely. Said she went to Walmart this week and walking throught the whole store shopping wore her out and she ached. She is limping now and they won't let her drive yet but she is planning on rummage sailing this summer and has redecorateing ideas. She lives alone but is doing fine. She spend one week in a nurseing home after surgery and then came home and hired someone to spend the nights for the next week and hired someone to come twice a week and do a few necessary chores. A HNA nurse came every morning to check her health and a physical therapist came every afternoon to do the necessary therapy. The Home Nurseing Association does help you in the beginning. there are social workers at the hospital that will help you set all this up.

I also have a neighbor somewhere in her 70's who had both hips and both knees replaces YEARS ago. This woman still goes to gym a couple times a week. You'd never know she had had the hip or knee replacements. She lives alone but is doing fine. She's got the most beautiful outdoor container garden of any of us every year.

We have another male neighbor in his 70's who had both hips and both knees replaced 2 years ago. (he had 5 surgeries in one year!) His health has improved so much. He used to need a cane and now he doesn't. He drives and goes where he please. Smiles and waves all the time. He lives alone but is doing fine.

These people with replacements run around more than I do. I need to "get my act together" so I can keep with those older guys!!

Hip replacement does not mean you will die soon, instead it means you have a second chance at mobility again. TRUE, the mobility is not as good as the mobility you had before the problem..but it is mobility.

You need to give these people a REASON to live, knowledge they are needed for something besides being a vegtable. Give them something to look foreward to. Attitude is the key.

On a side note I personally am NOT leaving my cat alone so I can't get broken. Family members have orders to remember to come take care of the cat if anything happens to me.

Last edited by snowmelts; 01-10-2004 at 12:18 PM.

 
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