Injuries are never fun to deal with. They can be especially daunting when they happen to an older person, particularly in an area that makes their regular movement difficult or impossible for a while, like a hip injury. The following will explore some of the things you can do to help make things a little easier on an elderly person who has experienced one of these injuries. Of course, nothing replaces advice from a medical professional. For a full breakdown of everything that you should be doing speak to a doctor or healthcare professional.
Ask What They Need
This one should seem obvious, but strangely it isn’t. Every person has unique needs and daily patterns in their lifestyle, so the only way you can be 100% certain that someone is getting everything they need to be sorted is by asking. Sometimes people are not confident asking outright for what they need and so the gesture of offering to help can make the conversations easier. The help they suggest might be obvious, but sometimes it’s anything but. Many people have daily habits that are interrupted by their injuries that wouldn’t immediately come to mind.
For example, maybe the injured person feeds the squirrel at the park nearby every day at 4 pm but due to their injury, the walk is a bit too challenging. Making sure that the squirrel is fed can take a load off of someone’s shoulders. Perhaps they help walk someone else to church every Sunday and want to make sure that their friend is cared for in their absence. Maybe putting things away on the top shelf where stretching to reach might hurt an injury could be helpful. It’s the little things that add up when you’re injured.
Offer Help With Daily Chores, Especially Cleaning-based Ones
Study after study has found that having a clean environment can do wonders for your mental health. When you’re recovering from an injury, your mental health can already be in a more fragile place than normal. Being in a clean setting can make a big difference (and also reduce the risk of further injury as obstructions are moved out of walkways). Simple tasks like taking out the garbage and wiping down the stove can help make sure the home of your loved one is doing its part in the healing process.
Find Ways To Keep Their Schedule Regular
There are a lot of little tweaks that can be made to help ensure that daily life stays as close to normal as possible. Sometimes this means rearranging the shelves in the fridge so that bending over isn’t as necessary. Experts at UpliftingMobility.com suggest considering replacing furniture with injury-friendly pieces that make the task of standing up and sitting back down a little easier. Often the areas when we first enter or leave a home need the most rearranging. Taking off shoes and coats can be difficult when mobility is limited by an injury. Having a “landing strip” where items like mail and keys can be set down without difficulty makes a big difference. The more subtle tweaks you can make to keep a schedule semi-regular, the more feelings of independence you can hold onto.
Learn About Ideal Recovery Nutrition
Recovering from an injury takes a lot out of the body. Nutrition and adequate calorie intake are even more important than usual. It might also be worth looking into anti-inflammatory food options as these can, in many cases, reduce the overall pain experienced while healing. An anti-inflammatory diet can also help reduce other forms of pain that tend to come with ageing. Adequate sleep is also necessary as the body does it’s best healing while we’re sleeping.
With the above tips kept in mind, you’re well on your way to offering the best care and help possible to an elderly family member or friend with a hip injury. Of course, every person and every injury is different so make sure that you are following the recommendations of a healthcare professional.
And always be sure to listen to your friend or family member. Trust their instincts when it comes to the healing process. They might be craving certain foods because they’re deficient in calories or a specific nutrient needed for healing. They might be sensing that certain activities are slowing the healing process or other activities are helping. If they are unhappy with the side effects of their pain medication, speak to your doctor about alternatives that they might prefer. Never disregard a symptom that is severe or was not described by the doctor ahead of time.