Attitude+Rehab=97-year-old’s broken hip recovery
Excellent physical therapists play a major part in aging parents’ broken hip recovery success following surgery. But there is considerable initial adjustment.
An aging parent’s broken hip means a lot of down time and takes a lot of patience–especially at first. Little strength is limiting; lying flat on one’s back produces boredom. Pain and the insecurity of what lies ahead can easily lead to grouchiness and depression in the nicest people–until they see progress. Because we’re a culture of instant gratification and short attention spans–or so they say, older parents may have more patience than we, which clearly benefits elderly broken hip recovery.
97-year-old, Senior Advisor R. reports that upon admission to a rehab facility one must make a complete adjustment. One must accept the way things are. “It’s not like a hospital–not like having someone at your beck and call when you ring the call-button,” says R, adding “It’s not real nursing (except for those who must have it). Asking the hardworking staff for more than one’s entitled to only incurs frustration for both patients and attendants. Realizing this early, helps. Indeed some people make themselves miserable wanting more than the staff can provide.”
R. says she continually reminded herself that she was only there for one reason: the therapy—not full attention from an aide whenever she wanted it. They made it known: “We’re not here to help you, we’re here to help you go home.”
R. laughs when she recalls the first day of therapy: a circle of wheelchairs inhabited by “a bunch stroke victims, fall victims, Parkinson sufferers, mentally disabled–all in physical trouble.”
It helps aging parents to move forward when they understand that some can’t do the exercises at first, but shouldn’t get discouraged. “Our strength is in short supply when we begin,” R observes. “While a lot of pain at first is discouraging….there are good days and not so good days. But you’ve got to get through it.”
“The Parkinsons woman, for example, had no expression, her head would go down on her chest, she couldn’t follow through, but bit by bit they keep working with her and finally make progress. There’s pain, some exercises are easier, some so hard, some people are doing well, some not so good. When there’s wonderful therapy, bit by bit people get stronger.”
One grown daughter comes for her mother’s sessions. For some mothers (and fathers) their adult children’s support is encouraging and it doesn’t disrupt the group’s work.
So we help aging parents’ broken hip recovery by finding excellent rehab for them…And then by our presence, our encouragement, our empowering, our running errands as needed…and perhaps by a few prayers.
For a summary of 16 key points in R’s recovery, click: http://helpparentsagewell.com/2011/01/25/elderly-broken-hip-full-recovery-and-going-home-summary.
Changing often: “Of Current Interest” (right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities, plus some fun stuff–to help parents age well.
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