RECOGNIZING TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY IN OLDER ADULTS
Posted on Monday, June 26th, 2017 at 11:16 pm
Older adults have a higher risk of death from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) than other age groups. Because elderly adults have an increased risk of falls due to health conditions, medications, and age, TBIs were the leading cause of death for persons 65 years of age and older. In addition, motor vehicle accidents were the third leading cause of TBIs for all age groups.
If you suspect that a loved one has suffered a brain injury, you should seek immediate medical help. A brain injury can result in permanent disabilities and death if left untreated. It is always best to err on the side of caution and see a physician whenever an accident occurs.
Recognizing the Signs of TBI in Older Adults
It can be difficult to recognize the signs and symptoms of a brain injury in an older adult because the symptoms may mimic other conditions. For example, some of the symptoms of a TBI can also be side effects from certain medications or simply the aging process (i.e. muscle weakness and confusion).
If your loved one experiences any fall or accident, it is best to see a doctor immediately for tests. A TBI can only be diagnosed by a medical professional after he runs the appropriate tests. Signs of a TBI you should look for after an accident include:
- Vision and hearing changes
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Speech impairment
- Problems with sleep
- Cognitive problems (confusion, combativeness, agitation)
You can get more information about TBI in older adults from the Alzheimer’s Association.
Problems Treating TBI in Elderly Patients
Prescribing medications to treat the symptoms of TBI in elder patients can be challenging. Many older adults take several different medications or suffer from one or more medical conditions. Some medications used to treat TBI may interact with other medications or cause complications with some medical conditions.
It is important to tell the treating physician about your loved one’s medical history, current medical conditions, and current medications. A physician can tailor a treatment for the patient, but it can be more complex with an elderly adult. Knowing all the relevant facts can save time and reduce the risk of serious complications during treatment.
How was the TBI Caused?
If your loved one sustained a TBI because of a personal injury accident, such as a fall or a motor vehicle accident, you also need to consider legal action on behalf of your loved one. The costs associated with treating a TBI and recovering from a brain injury can be substantial. However, if another party caused the injury, your loved one may be entitled to receive compensation for his or her medical bills and other damages. Consulting with an experienced Sacramento brain injury attorney can help make the process of filing an injury claim easier for you.
Call for a Free Legal Consultation
Contact the Tiemann Law Firm by telephone at (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website to schedule a free consultation with one of our brain injury lawyers. Our law firm serves clients in Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, El Dorado Hills and other communities in the greater Sacramento area.