Depending on the situation, you might be able to encourage your senior to lie down. If they are able to do so, take a look at their feet. If one seems to be extending down farther than the other, even by a little bit, that could be a sign that there’s something more going on. This isn’t foolproof, of course, but it’s an initial observation.
When you look at the affected hip, look for any signs of swelling or bruising around their hip joint. Broken bones, even if it’s just a small break, tend to experience enough trauma to increase inflammation in the immediate area. Ice can help to reduce both the bruising and the swelling, especially if it’s taking a little bit of time to get to the doctor.
A broken bone hurts, especially when it’s in a major joint like the hip. Your elderly family member might be telling you that they are experiencing a great deal of pain. That pain might be localized to their hip, but they may experience pain up their side and down their leg as well. This is especially true if they’ve experienced a fall.
Can your elderly family member move his or her leg? Sometimes someone with a broken hip has almost normal mobility in that leg, but more often, there’s significant pain and mobility is severely compromised. It’s a good idea to keep them from moving their leg, especially if you’re fairly certain that they have indeed broken their hip.
If your elderly family member has tried to walk on the affected leg, they might not be able to at all. A broken bone, particularly in the hip, usually means that your senior cannot put weight on that area. If your elderly family member is still trying to walk, try to convince them to stop because they can damage that hip even more.