Oslo is world leader in the number of hip fractures. Exercise and better street lighting are some of the initiatives to reduce fractures. In 2012, the Ombudsman for health, social and elderly services received a total of 4,000 complaints of poor conditions for pedestrians.
After a nasty fall in March, 86 year old Ingmar Finvold was hospitalized with hip fracture. Now, he has returned to his home, but is helpless without a cane.
And he is not the only one. In 2010, 960 (!) Oslo citizens were hospitalized with hip fractures. This means that Oslo is world leader in terms of hip injuries.
Now, however, things are about to change. A reduction of 150 fractions will save the municipality and hospitals at least 63 million Kroner (about 10 million dollars) annually.
– It is very important to preserve the elderly’s life quality by preventing falls and fractures. It may take months to recover after a hip fracture – in worst case they will never recover, says Kari Sletnes, attending physician in Oslo.
In collaboration with Oslo and Akershus University College, the Health Administration made a list of initiatives to prevent hip fractures, and a few years ago they tested a project to reduce hip injuries in Stovner borough. Test results showed a 50 percent reduction of fractures on inhabitants over 66 years in the course of six years.
*Establish exercise groups to increase physical strength and balance.
*Upgrade the physical environment, such as better street lighting, gritting of roads, shoveling snow, removing loose items that can cause fractures both at home and in the community.
*Removing medicines that increase the risk of falling. The goal is to reduce the number of medications that can make the user dizzy and lethargic.
*The use of hip protector is an individual solution for seniors who fall frequently.
– We know that many seniors are malnourished. This increases the risk of fracture. We want the local health services and relatives to check possible traps in the home of seniors. It can be as simple as removing loose wires or loose carpeting, says Sletnes.
Ingmar Finvold is pleased that the city wants to prevent hip fractures. He believes that better gritting is the best initiative to reduce injuries.
What about more physical activity?
– Frogner district has an exercise program called “Oscar”. They pick me up at home and drive me to the gym. My good physical shape has been important for my quick recovery. Therefore, I encourage all seniors to exercise, says Finvold.
Text translated and modified by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews
Photo by: Clinic HQ
Drawing by Anja Partanen (University of Oulu, Finland)
Categories: Sports & Health