Why is a broken hip so dangerous for older adults?

Hip fractures affect more than 600,000 adults in the 65-and-older age group every year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency also reports that falls cause at least 95% of hip fractures in this age group.

Learn why a broken hip could have debilitating health consequences for your senior parent or loved one.

Loss of mobility

According to research from the Journal of the American Medical Association published by AARP, study participants who were independently mobile before the injury displayed the following issues 12 months after a hip fracture:

  • 90% could no longer climb five stairs
  • 66% needed assistance to access the toilet
  • 50% could no longer get up from a chair without help
  • 31% could no longer get out of bed without help
  • 20% needed assistance to dress themselves

Health complications

Many older adults become bedridden for weeks or months after a hip fracture. This increases the risk for many serious health problems, including bedsores, blood clots, muscle wasting, urinary tract infections and pneumonia. Your parent may also experience psychological complications resulting from the injury, such as depression or confusion.

Increased morbidity rate

According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, 1/3 of adults who break their hips after age 50 die within a year of the injury. These fatalities may occur because of the trauma of the fracture or required surgical repair, or from complications such as heart failure, stroke, internal bleeding or systemic infection.

If your parent broke a hip after a fall caused by unsafe conditions, he or she could qualify for financial damages. In Arizona, you can file a lawsuit within two years of this type of personal injury to recoup the cost of medical bills, therapy, long-term care and other services associated with recovery.