Posts Tagged ‘Quality of Life’
Aunt Henrietta enjoys her independent life at 90. Especially when compared to how she was 4 years ago!
I visited her while out east for NOF. She easily walked the 3 blocks to and from church. She led the procession up and down every aisle in the huge Shoprite and the Rite-Aid, while stocking up on provisions for the month. She even strolled more than 1/4 mile across the Delaware River pedestrian bridge.
She lives alone in a 2 story house. I am not happy about the stairs, but she does not fall too often, and has not broken anything in 4 years.
Before Aunt Henrietta started treating her osteoporosis aggressively, she was rightfully terrified to do anything. She was talking about dying in her house. She had broken one wrist, then the other wrist, then her shoulder, in 3 separate falls. Her plight and response has been an inspiration in my efforts for bone health.
She started Adora Chocolates (she loves dark) for Calcium, then added high dose Vitamin D. I harrassed her into eating more protein. But when she fell, she broke. Her Quality of life was in the Dumpster. Time for drastic action!
I talked her into the Anabolic, Forteo. She failthfully gave herself a shot every day for 2 years. Because of her aging kidneys, I followed with Prolia. She has worked hard on proper nutrition. She was determined to regain her Independence. She succeeded.
Aunt Henrietta resurrected her Quality of Life. She is stronger, more active, stubbornly Independent, and Fracture Free! At age 90, that is everything.
Aunt Henrietta beat her osteoporosis! You can too.
Find out what you need to correct with a Complete Bone Health Evaluation.
Take Control to Avoid Fractures and remain Independent.
Jay Ginther, MD
Usually we operate on a Hip Fracture. We do that in order to: preserve Independent Living; or preserve independent ambulation in Assisted Living; or preserve assisted ambulation in a Care Facility; and always to preserve quality of life. But what if none of those goals are possible?
At the St Paul Geriatric Fracture Conference this month, it was proposed that alternative care to surgery is sometimes more humane and less costly to society – both laudable goals. The ideal care for a patient with a fractured hip is to thoroughly discuss all alternatives before proceeding to surgery.
Family and other caregivers should all join the patient for a relaxed discussion of the future, weighing quality of life issues radically changed by the usual loss of function / independence imposed by the fracture. Only after concensus is reached, should surgery proceed – if that is the chosen path.
Unfortunately, the clock is ticking. The likelihood of death, medical complications of the fracture, medical complications of surgery, and permanent disabilities begin to increase only 12 hours after fracture. Gathering all interested parties and making informed life-changing decisions within that time limit is very challenging.
Ideally the patient, family, care-givers and primary physician have discussed the possibility of fracture and come to tentative decisions about what sorts of care are desired. This is especially true for patients who already cannot ambulate, are becoming demented, or have a limited quality of life.
Involve the patient in the decision while he/she can still express his/her desires. Written Advanced Directives are ideally on file with physician and hospital. Allow the patient to Take Control of his/her Future.
My wife and I have discussed our desires with our children. We have advanced directives on file. You should too.
Jay Ginther, MD
A Hip Fracture over age 70 is Very Bad. About 20% of women and over 30% of men die from their hip fracture. Some consider these to be the lucky ones. Nearly half of those who survive a hip fracture spend the rest of their lives in a nursing home.
Many hip fractures should be preventable. There were warnings! Half of the people who break a hip had another Fragility Fracture a few months or years before. Most warnings go unheeded. Hip Fractures that could have been prevented destroy quality of life for too many individuals.