The risk of acquiring injuries, like concussions, increases with age. That’s why it’s important for caretakers to understand the signs of a concussion, especially when looking after the elderly. This information could play a huge role in ensuring timely and effective care for seniors, aiding in their recovery and well-being.
What Is A Concussion?
A concussion, a form of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), typically occurs when a blow or jolt to the head disrupts normal brain function. This interruption can influence cognitive abilities, memory, and motor functions — aspects of daily living that are essential for older people’s independence and well-being.
Seniors Are At More Risk & Take Longer To Recover
It’s important to note that seniors are particularly susceptible to concussions. The vulnerability arises from various daily activities that unruffle the balance, leading to falls, or unforeseen incidents that may inflict a head injury. As the brain ages, it doesn’t recover as quickly which also adds to the risk.
Certain factors can significantly increase the risk of falls and subsequent concussions for those who are older.
Fluctuations In Blood Pressure
Sudden changes in blood pressure can lead to dizziness or lightheadedness, both of which can cause an individual to lose their balance and fall. This risk is particularly heightened in those with a medical history of hypertension or hypotension.
A Known Risk Of Blood Thinning Medications
Another factor is the use of blood thinning medications. These medications can increase the chances of bleeding in the brain if a fall or concussion occurs. The condition, known as a hemorrhagic stroke, can have serious, life-threatening implications. It’s important to keep track of seniors’ medications and be knowledgeable about these kinds of risk factors.
Our Balance Can Diminish As We Age
Balance difficulties represent yet another factor contributing to fall risk. As we age, our ability to maintain balance can naturally diminish. This may be a result of age-related changes in the body, such as loss of muscle strength and joint flexibility, or could be derived from medical conditions affecting the nervous system.
Injuries To The Brain Take Longer To Heal For Seniors
An additional associated concern is that the brain tends to take longer to recover from injury as we age. This makes early detection and treatment of concussions essential for our elderly members of the community. The longer a concussion remains undiagnosed, the greater the possible impact on cognitive and physical function, potentially complicating the recovery process.
Recognizing the signs of a concussion in seniors is critical for diagnosis and treatment. Symptoms might not present immediately and can sometimes be mistaken for age-related cognitive changes, making them more challenging to spot.
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Irritability Or Unusual Emotional Responses
- Changes In Sleep Patterns
Best Response: Immediate Emergency Care
If you suspect that an elderly loved one may have sustained a concussion or a more severe TBI, seek emergency care. Medical professionals can accurately diagnose the injury and guide the next steps toward recovery.
Rehabilitation: The Role Of A Physical Therapist
Post-diagnosis, rehabilitation under a physical therapist’s guidance can assist in a senior’s recovery. They guide them through exercises and strategies to regain mobility, improve balance, and help reduce the risk of future falls or injuries.
Prevention: Creating A Safe Environment For Seniors
Avoidance is the best form of prevention. By securing living spaces, adding safety features, encouraging regular physical activity under supervision, and close monitoring of chronic conditions, the risk of concussions in seniors decreases significantly.
The Role Of Assisted Living In Elderly Concussion Care
Assisted living facilities, like ours in Ogden, UT, provide personal care, medical attention, and a secure environment which is critical in preventing and treating senior concussions. Seniors in our community have on-demand access to support and services tailored to their unique needs and challenges.
Partner With PeachTree Place Assisted Living for Quality Senior Care
At PeachTree Place Assisted Living, our residents’ well-being is our priority. With partners in the medical fields and a compassionate, knowledgeable staff, we offer a warm, safe, and enlivening home in Ogden, UT for seniors.
We work diligently towards ensuring every member of our community has access to the best care and abundant opportunities for a joyful, fulfilling life. Join our community and reaffirm your commitment to your loved ones’ health and happiness. Contact us today to tour our facility.