Tips to Protect your Hips
Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalization amongst Canadian seniors. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Seniors Fall Second Report, 20-30% of seniors fall each year and this number has been rising annually. The majority of falls result in broken bones and over one third result in a hip fracture.
These injuries put physical limitations on the individual that are often hard to overcome. Falls and related injuries also put undue financial and personal stress on family members while costing the healthcare system $2 billion annually, more than 3.7x greater than for younger adults.
Given that 50% of falls resulting in hospitalization occur in the home, falls protection interventions implemented at home can reduce falls, injury and stress to the individual, their loved ones and the healthcare system.
Many clinical studies with seniors have proven hip supports prevent critical hip incidents in the event of a fall. In fact, OMNI Healthcare and Synergy Therapeutics piloted a clinical study to track falls and critical incidents in long-term care residences over an 18-month period.
At the completion of the study, 205 falls were reported in 17 of Omni's homes across Ontario. 40 falls resulted in a critical incident requiring a hospital transfer. The 24 residents who fell wearing Synergy’s Hip Supports, showed no evidence of hip injuries. All 16 residents who fell without these hip supports suffered a hip fracture, two residents later died.
Other Benefits of Hip Supports
In addition to offering protection in the event of a fall, today’s hip supports offer additional benefits.
1. Improved Balance and Mobility – Compression garments like hip supports reinforce
the hip joint which assists balance and mobility. Individuals wearing hip supports can bend and walk more easily. Hip supports are a simple and safe solution for seniors experiencing a loss of balance, dementia or frailty. The Omni Healthcare clinical pilot also noted that residents wearing hip supports had fewer aches and pains in their joints and walked with more stability, contributing to a decreased risk of falling.
2. Pain Relief – The latest hip supports do more than simply pad the hip to prevent injury from falls. Far Infrared Ray (FIR) hip supports work while you wear them giving more relief than compression alone. Wearing FIR hip supports at night when pain is often at its worst can help with sleep and reduce pain the next day. The FIR minerals woven into the fabric are locally absorbed into the deep tissue, activating water molecules in the blood, increasing the blood flow and oxygen in the bloodstream. This has been shown to decrease inflammation in the hip joint and reduce chronic pain.
3. Discreet and Comfortable - Hip supports have come a long way over the past decade, both in comfort and technology. Today’s hip supports are not stinky, bulky, restrictive, uncomfortable braces. Look for hip supports made with Bamboo fabric. The latest Bamboo hip supports are extremely soft and breathable making the garment incredibly cool and comfortable. Bamboo is naturally anti-bacterial and deodorizing so the supports do not stink and can be washed easily. The latest hip supports are form-fitted, can be worn discreetly under clothes and pads can be removed easily. Look for hip supports designed to work with incontinence products.
Falls among seniors is preventable when risk factors in the home are removed and individuals take precautions to protect themselves.