Dear Heidi,

My mom lives home alone and a few days ago she fell while reaching for something

in her hallway closet. She was able to push her emergency alert button and they

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called me. I live nearby so I went to check on her and she had pain in her leg and hip

area. We got her to the hospital and it turns out that she broke her hip. She had

surgery to repair it and now we are faced with “next steps.” What should we do?

J.S. in Pine Brook

 

Dear J.S.,

As you might imagine, hip fractures are extremely common in older adults. Risk

factors include poor eyesight, osteoporosis, and medication side effects. That said,

now is a very important time for your mom. The focus should be on healing from the

surgery but it is also important to carefully pay attention to and manage any other

medical conditions that your mom may have as they could delay or complicate her

recovery. If your mom is up to it and agreeable (and insurance will cover it) we

usually recommend that a sub-acute rehabilitation facility be considered as part of

the hospital discharge plan. There, your mom will receive intensive physical and

occupational therapy to help her regain her strength to return home. She will still be

under the care of physicians and nurses, which can be a great peace of mind for you

and your mom. The hospital social worker can help you locate an appropriate facility

that will accept your mom and facilitate the discharge.

Heidi