Traumatic brain injuries usually result from violent blows or jolts to the head or to the body. An object that enters brain tissue can also cause such injuries. Common causes of traumatic brain injuries include falls, road accidents, sports injuries, and combat injuries, to name just a few.
In older adults, things like misstepping on an uneven surface, tumbling from a ladder, and falls are common causes of traumatic brain injuries. Indeed, falls are one of the major causes of traumatic brain injuries in seniors.
According to the UT Southwestern Medical Center, over 80% of traumatic brain injuries in people aged sixty-five and older are caused by falls. The seriousness of traumatic brain injuries can vary greatly.
Mild traumatic brain injury often temporarily affects brain cells, whereas more serious traumatic brain injury can result in torn tissues, bruising, bleeding, and other physical brain damage, which can potentially result in long-term complications or even death.
However, many people, seniors included, recover well after experiencing traumatic brain injuries. So, let’s take a closer look at how to recover after a brain injury in retirement.
Traumatic Brain Injuries in Seniors
The UT Southwestern Medical Center states that older adults are the fastest-growing age range for traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. Furthermore, seniors are more likely to suffer severe symptoms.
Out of all age groups, older people have the highest rates of hospitalization and death after experiencing traumatic brain injury. But many do recover.
The treatment and recovery process is similar to that of younger people. However, it often takes older people longer to recover because their bodies generally heal more slowly after injuries.
Recovering from Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries
Although mild traumatic brain injuries typically require no treatment other than rest and over-the-counter pain relief medications, if you’re a retired person who experiences a mild traumatic brain injury, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Your doctor will be able to confirm whether the injury is mild or tell you whether it’s more severe and inform you of the best recovery methods to follow. Even if your injury is mild, you should be closely monitored at home after the injury to keep an eye on any persistent, worsening, or new symptoms.
Your doctor will also usually recommend that you limit your cognitive activities and get plenty of rest. Whether you have a mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injury, after you have seen a doctor and started on the road to recovery, if your injury was caused by someone’s negligence, you should contact a brain injury attorney who can help you pursue financial compensation.
Recovering from Moderate or Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries
Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries require immediate emergency care. Medical professionals will make sure that you have enough oxygen and an adequate blood supply. They will also maintain your blood pressure and prevent any further injuries from occurring to your head or neck.
Additional treatments at the hospital will focus on minimizing secondary damage that can be caused by inflammation, bleeding, or a reduced oxygen supply to your brain. The majority of people who have had a significant brain injury, regardless of their age, will require rehabilitation.
They would need to relearn basic skills, like talking or walking. Therapy is the main method used to help people recover after a traumatic brain injury.
The type and duration of rehabilitation will vary from one person to another. It depends on factors like the severity of the brain injury and the part of the brain that was injured. Ultimately, recovering after a brain injury in retirement comes down to your specific circumstances. Always follow your doctor’s advice to ensure you recover as well as possible.