The mortality rate (within a year) for a person who is 80 or older and breaks his or her hip is as high as 27 percent (Schnell at al). That means one in four seniors this age won’t survive another year if they break their hip. Injuries of other kinds can also lead to serious health issues. It could be a broken ankle, broken leg, broken arm, dislocated shoulder, and so on.
A simple fall can lead to a hospitalization.
An elderly person who slips and falls may not feel the true effects of their injuries right away. They might have strained their knee, broken a bone, suffered contusions, and the list could be significantly long, but at first it may feel like a minor nuisance.
If the injuries are significant enough, it can cause a person to be hospitalized.
For example, if a senior is about to go up the stairs in their house, they might trip on the first or second step, fall forward, and break a few ribs, injure their elbow, and maybe even suffer a broken ankle, often something that may not even cause more than a minor bruise for many younger, stronger, healthier adults.
When they are hospitalized, they will hopefully be discharged soon.
Once they’re discharged, though, the clock starts ticking. If this elderly person doesn’t pay attention to the recovery, if they don’t exercise as directed, change their diet, and let their body heal, they could wind up right back in the hospital within a few days or weeks. If that happens (within 30 days of discharge), that’s technically considered a readmission.
When a person can’t exercise and do some things they took for granted, it can also lead to serious health issues beyond just injuries. It can lead to pneumonia. It could lead to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke because of this sudden change in their physical ability or exercise levels.
That’s why it’s so crucial that seniors and others pay close attention to what their doctor says about the injury, what they should do to recover, and stay devoted to that plan from the start. It may also require follow-up appointments. These should not be missed. When a doctor can follow up with his or her patient, they can spot potential issues developing before they lead to another hospitalization.
Simple injuries for older men and women are serious, even if they seem relatively minor and mundane in today’s society.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care to reduce hospital readmission rates in Toms River, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.