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dementia why broken hip won't heal

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Old 04-16-2009, 05:16 PM   #1
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dementia why broken hip won't heal

dementia why broken hip won't heal

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Old 04-16-2009, 11:06 PM   #2
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Re: dementia why broken hip won't heal

I'm not sure exactly what your question is or your loved one's condition. I have never heard of dementia itself causing a broken hip not to heal. It is possible that the patient is not following instructions properly because they are incapable but dementia itself doesn't stop bone healing unless it is the very late stage when body functions completely shut down including digestion.

Perhaps you can give us a little more information to go on?

Love, deb

Old 04-17-2009, 04:01 AM   #3
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Re: dementia why broken hip won't heal

My mother's dementia contributed to the problem with her hip. After falling and having an operation to put the hip back together, she was sent to a rehab clinic. There she met with a physical therapist once a day, who told her what to do and how often to do it.

The problem was, Mom was already in the later stages of Dementia and did not follow instructions. By the time my brother got there for his daily visit, she had forgotten what she was supposed to do. She told him and the nurses on the staff that the doctor had told her not to get up, not to put weight on the leg, etc. When told she had to exercise 5 times a day, she sat in her wheelchair doing finger and arm exercises she used to do as exercise leader at her senior center.

My brother tried his best to get her to stand and later walk. Every day they 'walked' around the circular path in the grounds, but as soon as he went home she refused to try again, although we had several nurses and aides willing to walk with her.

I suppose their attitude was, 'let the old lady sit in her wheelchair, she hasn't got that long to live anyway." Of course it would have been nicer if she had been able to get around on her own, but that point of view was exactly what she wanted. She became interested in the activites going on at the Rehab, and soon they moved her to a nursing home wing where there were many other people in her condition, and they enjoyed games, bus trips, eating together, being outdoors on the beautiful grounds, birthday parties etc. Mom never expressed regret that she was unable to get up and walk.

In my opinion the dementia made it impossible for her to think ahead, to say "it hurts like mad now, but in another few weeks I will be able to walk!" She could not see the point in it, and avoided pain.

I hope this helps you, please do let us know just what is happening.


Old 04-19-2009, 02:41 PM   #4
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Re: dementia why broken hip won't heal

My grandmother's story is almost identical to Martha's mom's. My grandmother broke her hip almost 3 months ago and went to a nursing home a few days later. She received 2 months of rehab but is still unable to walk more than a few feet unassisted. She has never had any realization that she had a broken hip other than pain.
She asks every day why her leg is sore. When I tell her why, she cannot comprehend it. I went with her to her follow up visit to the surgeon who repaired the break. The injury has healed completely, yet because of her age and dementia she will never walk unaided again. She does not even have the presence of mind to use a walker. She's adapted well to the nursing home, though. They watch her closely and take precautions but I worry about her falling again by trying to get up and walk on her own. She actually told me today, "I'm going to show you I don't have a broken hip, I'm going to get up and walk". They keep her belted into her wheelchair, thank goodness.


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