After Nevada nursing home residents fall, family members should watch for signs that they have suffered a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. Gait problems, muscle weakness, and other such issues put elder patients in long-term care facilities at risk for falls that may result in serious injuries such as TBIs. Identifying such injuries is essential in ensuring they receive the medical treatment they need.
Falls Put Seniors at Risk for Head Trauma
Common among older adults, falls are the leading cause of TBIs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that three million elders seek treatment at emergency rooms and more than 800,000 patients require hospitalization for fall-related injuries every year. Often, seniors lack the upper-limb strength to protect themselves in a fall or are not familiar with rotational falling techniques that might help them avoid hitting their heads.
According to the CDC, less than half of all seniors who fall each year report the incident to their physicians. Without receiving the appropriate care in a timely manner, elders may suffer complications as a result of their TBIs, which could be fatal. Therefore, it is vital that family members remain vigilant in checking on their loved ones and watch out for signs they may have fallen and suffered head trauma.
Common Symptoms of TBI
Elders who suffer TBIs may experience a range of symptoms based on the type and severity of their injury. Some of the most common signs that someone has suffered a TBI include:
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than normal
- Dazed, disoriented, or confused state
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to sound or light
In addition to the physical and sensory symptoms, elders who suffer TBIs may also display mood swings or mood changes, concentration or memory problems, or anxiety or depression. The signs of TBIs may appear immediately following the fall, or they may present in the following days or weeks.
Report Suspected Abuse
Should family members suspect a loved one’s fall and the subsequent head injury resulted from abuse or neglect, they should report their concerns right away. Provided their loved ones are not in imminent danger, people should take suspicions regarding potential nursing home abuse or neglect to the Nevada Aging and Disability Services. In emergency situations, family members should report their concerns to law enforcement.