Most people are aware that falls can leave older people with far more serious injuries than those suffered by younger people. Seniors are more likely to suffer fractures in a fall — and some can result in life-changing effects.
As people get older, their bones lose density (or mass) and become more brittle and frail. That’s often particularly true for women. Even a fall on a level surface from a standing position can cause a fracture. Hip fractures are most common when someone falls sideways and lands on their hip.
A hip fracture can be especially dangerous and debilitating. You may have heard the statistic that one in three people who are over 50 when they break a hip die within a year. Here’s another disturbing piece of data: Seniors who have suffered a broken hip have eight times the mortality rate of those who haven’t.
Why hip fractures can be especially debilitating for seniors
It’s not that people die from a broken hip – at least not directly. However, these fractures significantly compromise mobility. This means possibly spending time in a rehabilitation facility. Even when they get home, those recovering from a broken hip will need some help with simple daily activities and likely have to rely on a wheelchair or walker for a time.
All of this can be depressing – especially for those who have previously been active. If they don’t have family and friends around to get them out and about, they may become secluded and sedentary. They may start to feel their age – or older. All of these things generally lead to physical and mental decline.
Why having a recovery program is important
With good treatment, which often involves surgery, a solid physical therapy regimen and perhaps some home care help, seniors can and do recover from hip and other senior fractures and get back to a relatively normal life. However, this can be expensive.
That’s why if the fall was the result of another’s negligence, it’s important to pursue options for holding them liable for their conduct. It’s smart to get legal guidance as soon as possible – and certainly before you accept any settlement – to protect your right to fair compensation accordingly.