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Nursing homes need to protect residents from hip fractures

The Chicago, Illinois, area has many nursing homes, and certainly a number of those do fine Others, however, may not, allowing their residents to come to harm by the actions or inactions of the staff, which constitutes unursing home abuse. Anyone who feels that they are a victim of nursing home abuse, or that a relative was, should contact their attorney.

Among the injuries that can happen to elderly people who are in nursing homes are hip fractures. Elderly people often have weaker bones that are more prone to fractures, and they often lack the strength and speed to keep themselves from getting injured. A hip fracture is very problematic, and seriously impedes the mobility and quality of life of the person who suffers it.

That is why nursing homes must do everything they can to protect their residents from suffering hip fractures. The first thing to do is to get informed about risk factors. That way, the staff can know how to best protect their residents.

One risk factor is osteoporosis. In may people who have it, the risk of suffering hip fractures is so high that it can happen during simple activities that involve bearing weight. Based on that, nursing home staff should learn which of their patients have osteoporosis, and make sure that those patients avoid weight-bearing activities.

Staff should also understand that women are, as a group, more at risk than men are. This is because women lose bone density faster as they age, sbstantially due to the decrease in estrogen levels that happens when menopause begins.

Heredity also plays a part. People who are small, slender, Caucasian or Asian, have a particularly high risk of osteoporosis and thus of hip fractures. Poor nutrition, and eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia nervosa also add to a person's risk.

Nursing homes should do all that they can to keep residents from falling. That includes keeping floors free of loose objects. It also includes keeping residents away from things they could get tangled up in, like wires.

Source: A Place for Mom, "Elderly Hip Fracture: Prevention & Treatment," accessed Sep. 14, 2017

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