Bringing Awareness to Brain Injuries
Every March, Brain Injury Awareness Month is observed to shed light on various aspects of brain injury. These injuries occur due to a variety of causes, including falls, forceful impact to the head or penetration by sharp objects, and more. This is an issue highly affecting older people due to a higher proportion of fall-related brain injuries.
The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) works tirelessly to provide the latest resources and information to individuals with brain injuries, professionals, caregivers, and more. According to their research, at least 5.3 million Americans live with a traumatic brain injury-related disability. That is one in every 60 people. Their current campaign, #MoreThanMyBrainInjury, looks to increase understanding of brain injury as a chronic condition, reduce the stigma associated with having a brain injury, showcase the diversity of injury and the demographics of the community, and improve care and support for individuals with brain injury and their families. Learn more and access resources here.
Understanding Brain Injury: Definitions and Facts
An Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) degenerative or induced by birth trauma.
A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a type of ABI. It is caused by trauma to the brain from an external force.
Every 9 seconds, someone in the U.S sustains a brain injury.
More than 3.6 million people sustain an ABI each year.
At least 2.8 million people sustain a TBI each year.
Click here to download the fact sheet from BIAA.
Brain Injuries in Older Adults
While many might relate brain injury to sports and other physical activities practiced by younger generations, older adults actually face a high risk of brain injury due to falls. According to the CDC, older adults are more likely to be hospitalized and die from a TBI compared to all other age groups. Moreover, TBIs may be missed or misdiagnosed in older adults because the symptoms may overlap with other common medical conditions such as dementia. (Source)
To help decrease the risk of brain injury in older adults, fall prevention education is important. Everyone involved, including individuals, caregivers, and medical professionals, should learn about the importance of fall prevention. Here are a few tips that can be followed (Source):
Regularly reviewing medications with a doctor
Removing home hazards, like throw rugs
Lighting up living space to help avoid tripping
Employing assistive devices (e.g., handrails, grab bars, raised toilet seats, etc.)
Staying as active as possible
Wearing sensible shoes
For additional fall prevention tips, access resources from CarePatrol here>>[Link to PDF]
Ready to take action to reduce the risk of falls and brain injury in older adults? Access resources below to get started:
Head Injury in Adults-Harvard Medical School
Seniors and Brain Injury-Brainline
Brain Injury Awareness Month-BIAA
Older Adult Fall Prevention-CDC
For more resources or to speak with our experts, click here.