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Hip fracture: A guide for family carers

If you're a carer and the person you care for fractures their hip, this guide will ensure that you are equipped with the information you need to support their recovery.

A carer is anyone who looks after a partner, relative, friend or neighbour who, due to illness, disability, frailty, a mental health problem or an addiction, cannot get by without their support.

There is no single term that best describes the person with a hip fracture as it will differ in every circumstance. We have used 'loved one', 'patient' and 'person you care for' interchangeably throughout this guide.

About

As members of the Falls and Fragility Fractures Audit Programme Patient and Carer Panel, we’ve each had personal experience of hip fracture, whether as a patient, a carer or as a carer first and a patient a few years later. So we know just how big an impact a hip fracture can have, not only on the person who breaks their hip but also on people like you as their partner, relative or friend.

As well as feeling shocked and worried, you probably have a lot of questions running through your mind at the moment. Why did their hip break so easily? Will they need to have an operation? When will it take place? How long are they likely to be in hospital for? And can anything be done to stop them from having more fractures once they’re back at home?

Unfortunately, finding answers to such questions isn’t always easy, especially when staff are very busy or you’re unsure who you should speak to. That’s why we’re delighted to have worked in partnership with the Royal College of Physicians and experts in older people’s health, orthopaedics, surgery, rehabilitation and nutrition, to produce this guide. 

While we can’t provide you with answers to all your questions, we hope you find it useful, especially while your loved one is in hospital. And if you have any suggestions on how we can improve it, we’d very much like to hear from you. 

The Patient and Carer Panel, Falls and Fragility Fracture Audit Programme (FFFAP) 

 

‘This is a fantastic resource. I am a carer for my mother-in-law who has advanced dementia and I wish I had access to something like this last year when she was in hospital.’

Tina Strack, associate director for clinical outcome review programmes, Health Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP)

‘I would like to congratulate the Patient and Carer Panel on this extraordinary piece of work which shows great insight into both the patient’s and the carer’s perspective of hip fracture.’

Antony Johansen, consultant geriatrician and clinical lead for the National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD)