How to care for someone at home after broken hip
Many older people returning home after a hip fracture need extensive nursing assistance.
Before a loved one leaves hospital look into available community nursing services in your area. A social worker or Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) should be able to help with arranging nursing care at home.
Generally a person will need assistance with normal everyday activities for some weeks after a hip fracture. Shopping, preparing food, showering and toileting will be extremely difficult.
At home with fractured hip
Before a loved one returns home talk to an occupational therapist. An occupational therapist can help organise home modification such as installing grab rails and ramps.
They will also teach a person with fractured hip new ways of doing things to improve function of the hip and speed up recovery.
Organise a safe space for your loved one to recuperate, preferably on the one level. Moving a bedroom closer to a bathroom can help.
Rearrange items in rooms so they are not difficult to reach. A good bedside table or trolley on wheels can be useful for storing frequently used items.
Before returning home ask a doctor about a temporary handicapped parking pass.
What home care aids can help with fractured hip?
An occupational therapist can suggest home care aids and assistive devices to increase independance and safety.
Home care aids to consider include:
- A reacher for grabbing hard to reach objects and prevent bending over
- A comfortable firm chair with arm rests
- A raised toilet seat to ease the pressure and discomfort from sitting on the toilet
- Hand rails in the shower recess and bathroom for stability
- A shower chair and hand held hose for showering
- A long handled sponge for personal hygiene
- A dressing stick, shoe horn and sock aid for dressing
- Firm pillows for comfort and proper alignment of the hip when sleeping, sitting and transferring
- A call bell to get help and an medical alarm system to notify family of a medical emergency
- A pressure mattress for increased comfort and to avoid pressure sores
- An electric bed to ease transferring in and out of bed without injuring the hip
- Hip protectors can help reduce any damage to the hips from a fall
- A non-slip bath mat to prevent falls in the bathroom
Some equipment and home care aids will only be needed for the first few months. Assistive living aids can be bought from rehabilitation stores, online or your local pharmacy. Most hospitals rent equipment.
To find out what nursing services are available in your area call the Commonwealth Carelink Centre on 1800 200 422.