Fall protection is a significant worry for many who are concerned for their aging parents. As people age, their gait becomes a little more unsteady and more susceptible to falling and harm. Falls are very common with the elderly and often result in devastating and debilitating injuries such as hip fractures. Compounding the problem with falls is osteoporosis, a common disease in older women that makes the bones weak and fragile. Hip fractures are particularly troublesome and can be prevented. There are three major steps you should take to assist your parents in reducing their risks to fractures, particularly hip fractures.
The first step is removing obstacles in the hallways and other areas of the home. Obstacles can trip your parent or cause them to loose their balance. This step is the most inexpensive preventative measure.
Installing fall protection systems throughout the home is the second preventive step. Fall protection safety devices like handrails, grab bars, shower chairs, toilet safety frames, floor cushions, cushioned bath mats, bedrails, EZ Assist Poles, and even walkers and rollators can prevent falls and are important preventive measures. Soft Sole Footwear or Soft Sole Socks can reduce slipping falls. Each of these fall protection devices are inexpensive and can reduce the risk of fall injuries to your parents and reduce your exposure to large hospital bills.
Personal fall protection systems or personal protective equipment is the third preventive step. There are a number of personal fall protection devices to choose from. Protective pads or hip pads provide good fall protection. Pads protection is very inexpensive and effective for most situations. Most hip fractures are caused by sideways falls, with the impact directly on the side of the hip. External hip protectors or cushioned pads made of special protective and shock-absorbing material rest directly on the hips over the most common impact points. Hip padding has been shown in many scientific studies to be very effective in the prevention of hip fractures in the event of a fall1.
Foam hip pads come in different styles that can be worn just like regular underwear, or with a crotch-less design that can be worn over regular underwear. The hip protection briefs come in standard and community styles and are available for women or with fly for men. There are also special designs available to care for people with incontinence issues which have protective pads in them that can tolerate higher washing temperatures than the regular pads, while featuring the same impact protection. This style also has a snap front to make it easy to put them on over adult diapers. The protective hip padding in all styles is low profile, so that it can be discreetly worn under the clothing. All of these styles are available from Posey at Vitality Medical. The hip protector briefs are made from Lycra®/Cotton to make them comfortable to wear. The Posey Hipsters brand are one of the best sellers for this category. The pads in these hip protectors are sown into the garment. These hip protection pads are easily washable in a household laundry washer. Hip pads are also replaceable.
These hip protector pads are a suitable, comfortable and economical way to save pain and suffering that can be caused by hip fractures and are conveniently available on the Vitality Medical website. Vitality Medical provides medical supplies and equipment you can order online at discount prices from the leading medical supply companies.
Oxford Journals, Age & Ageing – Bed falls and bedrails—what should we do?
Oxford Journals, Age & Ageing – Falls, Fractures and Trauma