Traumatic brain injuries such as concussions impact nearly 3 million people throughout the United States each year, and are the cause of approximately 30% of all injury-related deaths. Not all concussions are serious, however. Many people experience mild concussions and recover quickly and completely.
Your parent may not even lose consciousness after having suffered a concussion, and may show mild or even no symptoms beyond an initial dizziness or headache. As a family caregiver, however, it is extremely important to recognize that concussions can lead to serious complications, so it is very important to know when you should seek emergency care for a senior who has experienced an injury that may have led to a concussion, or you know they have experienced a concussion.
Seek emergency care for an elderly adult who has suffered a concussion if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Repeated vomiting
- Slurred speech or other changes and how your aging parents speaks
- Changes in coordination, such as increased stumbling
- Marked irritability, or changes in their behavior or personality
- Confusion, such as not being able to recognize where they are or the people around them
- A headache that does not go away, and that increases with intensity over time
Even if you don’t think your aging parent has suffered a serious head injury, if they have fallen, hit their head, or been involved in some sort of accident, it is still important to get in touch with your doctor within a day or two of the injury. This allows the doctor to discuss the accident and any symptoms your parent is experiencing so they can determine if they need to see your parents for further testing and possible treatment.
If your aging loved one has suffered a serious health problem or emergency, such as a concussion, now may be the ideal time for you to start seeing your care for them. A home care services provider can be with your aging parent to help them cope with the effects of this health issue or emergency, work through their recovery, and move forward.
This can include offering reminders for medications and treatments to keep them compliant so they can get the most benefit from prescriptions and guidelines from their doctor. A home care provider can also act as a valuable source of supervision and companionship. Not only does this boost your parents mental emotional health, but it also gives you confidence as their family caregiver that if your parent struggles with worsened symptoms, or another emergency occurs, you will know so you can make prompt and appropriate decisions for their care.