Over 250,000 people in the United States experience a hip fracture every year, many of them elderly. Unfortunately, according to a new study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, over 80 percent who could previously walk without assistance and climb stairs do not regain those abilities after 2 years. According to physical therapist Nancy K. Latham, a research assistant professor at the Health and Disability Research Institute at the Boston University School of Public Health, “The epidemiological data is so strong [and shows] that most of them never get close to where they were with walking and mobility before the fracture.” Because most of these fractures are caused by falls, many patients become fearful of further falls. Patients often allow this fear, combined with the limited mobility they experience following the fracture, to trap them into a mindset of worry over another fall, leading them to become permanently immobilized. “People experience a huge loss of self-confidence over [a hip fracture] that can start a spiral of inactivity where people become very fearful of moving,” Latham said.
To combat these fears, the authors of the study had participants view a video that addressed fears of falling and engage in a home-based exercise program with goals and rewards. These programs were designed by qualified physical therapists, who visited participants in their homes several times to help them get started. The authors weren’t aiming for returning the participants to top-notch physical fitness; they merely tried to help the participants regain the ability to move in ways common in daily living, such as sitting and standing, walking, reaching, and climbing stairs. Accordingly, the exercises were designed to mimic these activities in order to build the strength and confidence of the participants.
After six months, the study participants, who averaged between 78 and 79 years old, experienced significant improvement in functional mobility and balance. Three months after the study ended, researches followed up with participants, and found that the majority kept gains in mobility and many had experienced even greater gains since the study’s end.
Recovery isn’t an overnight process, however, and in the meantime, victims of hip fractures often benefit from the use of mobility and safety products such as chair lifts, shower grab bars, walkers, and stairlifts. These products enhance the safety of those with a history or risk of falling or who have other mobility challenges. They allow people to stay in or return earlier to their homes, enhancing their quality of life and saving the massive expense of assisted living, nursing, or rehabilitation facilities.
Pacific Mobility Center is San Diego’s top choice for state-of-art mobility products. Our family owned-and-run business offers the largest local selection of products from top manufacturers at the guaranteed lowest price. We also offer same-day installation from our certified technicians, allowing you and your loved ones peace of mind. Come in to either of our showrooms or contact us today for a free quote and see what we can do for you!
This video explains more about hip fracture symptoms and treatment:
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)