It’s so true, isn’t it? As far as the way we humans move, whether it’s dancing, Kung Fu, or a swim in the pool, the hips make it happen.
But the focus today regarding the hips is a bit more serious…
It’s About Survival.
The odds of your survival are altered dramatically if, in a slip and fall incident, you break your hip.
“One out of five hip fracture patients dies within a year of their injury.” (CDC website)
What is it that usually fractures?
First, scroll back up and look at the picture. What do you notice about the hip structure?
The image is rotated downward and slightly to the side, so that you can get a much better view of the angle of the top of the leg as it sets in the socket. That’s a vulnerable looking area, isn’t it? And, indeed, it is frequently what breaks from a side impact slip and fall, and that’s exactly what a hip fracture is; the breaking of that angled end of the leg bone.
For Seniors, it’s primarily a function of weakness of the bone due to Osteoporosis. To a certain degree you can move the odds in your favor, if you get moving. Let’s be realistic, however: strengthening bone mass takes a Lifestyle change of consistent resistance exercising over time. Take another look at my post “Squat, Seniors, Squat” for more info:
In the meantime, there’s a lot you can do around the house to avoid a catastrophic fall in the first place.
For myself, when getting up in the middle of the night, I pause before standing up to make sure my head is clear and my eyes have a moment to adjust. Before I retire for the night, I’ve made sure that nothing has been left on the floor that could be a tripping hazard. If going downstairs, I pause again to make sure of balance. Poor vision and imbalance are definitely causes for many slip and fall injuries.
Be sure to deal with any slick or slippery surfaces inside and outside of the house (Including small rugs without rubber backing, that slide easily on smooth surfaces–sometimes used in the bathroom). There should be no rugs with curled up edges, or chair legs in a walkway that might cause a problem.
Take the time to inspect your house specifically to make it safer regarding slip and fall accidents.
I know these might seem like common sense trivial details, but the added moments of pause and prevention just to be sure of safety could save a lifetime of pain.
From our file, “Changing the Look of Senior Fitness” we have Anita Casey, 2013 Gold Medal Winner at the Senior Olympics. She received the gold in both the 400 and 800 meter track events. Check out the message on the rear window of the blue VW. At age 70, she’s weight training 3 times per week, doing the treadmill 3 times a week, and stretching it out in Yoga twice a week. Not bad for someone diagnosed with osteoporosis 13 years ago!
Be Safe, Seniors!
The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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