Community Blog

What to Do If You Suspect Your Aging Loved One Has a Brain Injury

By Ketan Shah

Senior Care in Mountain View CA

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. This is the ideal time for you as a family caregiver to learn about this extremely common, but potentially severe, form of injury, and how to handle them effectively should your elderly parent experience such an injury during the course of your care journey with them. Every year throughout the United States more than 2 million people experience a traumatic brain injury. More than 200,000 of these people will lose their lives as a result of the injury, and many more will endure lingering effects and disabilities associated with their injury. It is important as a caregiver that you know not just how to identify the potential symptoms of a brain injury that occur hours to days after the initial injury, but also how to respond should you suspect that your senior is dealing with such an injury.

If your parent has suffered an accident or injury and is showing any of the following symptoms, it is critical that you call for emergency medical attention immediately:

• Abnormal behavior
• Extreme sleepiness or inability to stay awake
• Severe headache
• Stiffness in the neck
• Unequal dilation of the dark portion of the eyes
• Inability to move a leg or arm
• Loss of consciousness, even for a few seconds
• More than one instance of vomiting
• Scalp wound

Immediately check the person’s breathing and begin CPR if necessary. Stabilize their neck and prevent movement as much as possible. If possible, apply ice packs to areas of swelling. Follow these precautions to help prevent further injury and complications:
• Do not attempt to wash a wound that is bleeding excessively, instead, apply a cloth to the area and continue to add cloths as the blood soaks through
• Do not attempt to remove any debris or objects sticking out of a scalp or skull wound
• Do not attempt to move or relocate the person if at all possible
• Do not attempt to rouse the person by shaking them
• Do not remove any form of headgear, such as a helmet
• Do not allow your loved one to drink any alcohol within 48 hours of suffering a brain injury

Starting senior care for your elderly loved one can be one of the most compassionate, nurturing, and effective decisions that you can make for them in the course of your caregiver journey with them. The highly personalized services of a senior home care services provider are specifically designed to address your parent’s individual needs, challenges, and limitations in a way that takes into account their personality, preferences, beliefs, opinions, and goals, as well as the care that you are able to put forth for them. This means that they are able to live the lifestyle that is right for them while remaining safe, healthy, comfortable, and fulfilled, and maintaining as much independence and activity as possible as they age in place. If your aging parent experiences an injury or accident while they are in the care of this care provider, they can ensure they get the support that they need immediately and can coordinate with you to make sure that they get all the proper medical care and support necessary to handle the situation and move forward in the best way possible.

Source
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/basics/symptoms/con-20029302
http://www.biausa.org/brain-injury-awareness-month.htm
http://www.biav.net/awareness-month.htm
http://www.brainline.org/content/2012/06/what-should-you-do-if-you-think-you-have-had-a-concussion.html

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Mountain View, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers today (408) 259-5930.