For Elderly, Greater Risk of Brain Injury After Fall

Posted by Ashley Griffin on March 03, 2014

For Elderly, Greater Risk of Brain Injury After Fall

Brain injuries can be traumatic regardless of your age. For those aged 65 and up, however, the risks may be greater. Studies are now showing that traumatic brain injury can lead to long lasting and cognitive impairment later in life.

The Alzheimer’s Association states that traumatic brain injury, ranging from mild to severe, can pose as a threat to an elderly person’s cognitive health by inhibiting their potential to learn and negatively affects their thought processing. According to the article, traumatic brain injuries can be instant or long-term depending on the severity of the fall or accident and can actually increase one’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s or Dementia.

Most traumatic brain injuries are caused by falls, car accidents, sports injuries, or explosive impacts. Different accidents can cause different traumas of different severity levels to the brain.

The Severity of Brain Injuries

As with any injury, there are different levels of severity and risks, and that is especially true with brain injuries. Brain traumas can range from mild, moderate, to severe. Mild brain injuries are commonly known as a concussion where symptoms appear shortly after and the effects are not permanent. Moderate traumas cause unconsciousness that can last longer than thirty minutes and the effects can be longer lasting. Severe brain traumas cause you to lose consciousness for twenty-four hours or more with more serious and long lasting health risks. Here are some of the symptoms to consider:

  • Unconsciousness

  • Dizziness

  • Headache

  • Blurred Vision

  • Difficulty speaking

  • Nausea/vomiting

  • Difficulty retaining new information

  • Inability to remember cause of injury

  • Disorientation

  • Changes in sleep patterns

  • Emotional changes

  • Ringing of the ears

Various and ongoing studies have shown that those with moderate to severe brain traumas are more at risk to develop mental illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s and forms of Dementia, than those who have not experienced brain trauma.

Treatments

The different types of brain traumas will need different types of treatment, most severe cases of brain injury do require inpatient rehabilitation. However, the more mild cases can be treated with at –home observation or a quick hospital stay. Find out which treatment is best for your mental health and for your loved ones. Don’t be afraid to educate yourselves and others about the health risks of brain injuries. Disorders can develop over time so be proactive! Know the causes, know the symptoms, know the risks and figure out a plan of treatment to ensure yourself the best brain health you can.


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