Life Care Planning for Hip Injuries
As a life care planner, I see all types of injuries at every stage of life. Some affect the young, some affect the old, all are chronic, all represent “forever losses”. All of them impact overall health and wellness and can pose a tremendous challenge to both the sufferer and to their extended network of family and friends.
Last month I wrote about the unique challenge of birth injuries and how difficult they can be. This month, I’d like to discuss hip injuries. Hip fractures tend to favor women over men. This is primarily due to poorer bone density and osteoporosis in women. Females lose bone density faster than men because of the drop in estrogen levels which occurs during menopause.
Overall, hip injuries become more common with age. Poor nutrition, medical conditions, physical inactivity, and tobacco alcohol/use all potentially contribute. As you can imagine, this condition can cause tremendous pain and discomfort — and directly impact quality of life.
Meet Patty, a Patient with a Hip Injury
Let me tell you about a patient of mine named *Patty (names have been altered to protect patient confidentiality.) Patty’s hip issues were sudden; in her early seventies, she tripped over an ill-placed pallet at a big box store. This resulted in a sizable bruise to her right hip, along with injuries to her head, ankle, and back. Patty was a cancer survivor. She had a pacemaker. She had been in treatment for quite some time for degenerative disc disease and other ailments. The accident exacerbated a number of these conditions and reversed much of her hard work in recovery.
I examined Patty to provide her with a life care plan three years after the incident. In those three years, her quality of life had dropped considerably. She had gone through a stressful and painful experience which had accelerated her aging. These days she was forced to live with severe and constant pain along with depression, anxiety, and irritability. Physical and social limitations, including the inability to travel to see her two daughters, had hit her hard.
There was a long list to tackle in Patty’s case. The life care plan we put together for her addressed far more than her chronic pain; it also addressed her overall quality of life. I detailed allowances for braces, special pillows, and a cane to help Patty get around. She needed a therapist for physical therapy and TENS therapy on top of that. I reviewed and refined the list of her medications so that she could remain comfortable for as long as possible. Overall . . . intensive, invasive management was required to get Patty the assistance she needed and deserved. I was grateful and happy to help her and find ways to improve these day-to-day challenges.
Common and Uncommon Hip Injuries
There are common causes for hip injuries in women, including arthritis, dysplasia, bursitis, and iliotibial band syndrome in runners. Fractures can happen with falls, accidents, and with age. If it affects your usual activities or work-related tasks, it should be addressed. If it becomes chronic and results in long-term disfigurement or disability, you may want to seek out the help of a life care planner.
Just like with Patty, we can lay out a care plan for life which accounts for everything from discomfort to mobility to mental healthcare. These issues are worth tackling at any age. If some of the above describes what you are dealing with, I strongly urge you to contact myself and my team. We can help.