In the not-so-distant past, orthopedic surgeons wanted to push joint replacement surgery out as far as possible, fearing the replacement joints might fail after ten years or so. Currently, joint replacements are considered fully functional and intact for twenty years or more after surgery.
Changes in medications, worsening of existing conditions, and new medical diagnoses all contribute to an increase in falls. However, a central cause right under our noses (and something that we can IMPROVE), is poor muscle strength. Lower extremity and core weakness increase vulnerability in everyone, especially elders, making them more prone to poor balance and falls.
This is a tough season of life for the seniors in our lives, and for us as well. There are many changes, and lots of challenges. The thought of leaving home is intolerable for some elders, while for others, the opportunity of an Assisted Living with its support, activities, and companionship…
Gramp had a stroke that left him unable to walk. He stayed home with care for a year and had several falls in the past few months, in which he was hospitalized and then went to rehab. It's too much on him, and too much on Gram to keep him home....
"It has been three years since Mom's diagnosis. In that time, she has exhausted all options, from chemotherapy to radiation, and every experimental treatment in between. We all put our total energy into her "beating" the disease. She had a huge cheering section. Now, she has few options remaining. Many of us have been able to "modify our expectations," and change our goals from curative to comfort. All that is, except my brother.
My doctor tells me that the surgery needs to happen NOW and delaying it again isn't an option. It's never a good time, but now it really is NOT a good time. I moved in with Mom a year ago, as she needed more support than I could provide at a distance. Things have changed even in the last year so that she really can't be left alone. I have friends and family, but they don't know how to care for Mom like I do.
The President of Aberdeen Home Care gives advice on how to make it possible for an elderly family member attend out-of-town family events.