Due to frailty as a result of their age, health conditions and other factors, nursing home residents may have an increased risk of falling. Whether falls occur while walking, getting out of bed or performing other activities, they may cause elderly adults to suffer serious harm, such as traumatic brain injuries. 

Understanding TBIs resulting from nursing home falls may help people ensure their loved ones receive the treatment and care they need to recover. 

What is a traumatic brain injury? 

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the term traumatic brain injury refers to brain damage suffered as a result of sudden trauma. This may occur as a result of objects penetrating the skull or due to the head sustaining a sudden jolt, blow or bump. TBIs may occur when people fall, get struck by objects, get into auto collisions or suffer trauma while playing sports. Among those aged 65-years and older who suffer TBIs, falls lead as the most common cause. 

What are the symptoms of TBIs? 

Depending on the severity of their injuries, people may experience a range of symptoms due to TBIs. Some of the most common signs of this type of head trauma include the following: 

  • Headache 
  • Confusion 
  • Dizziness 
  • Lightheadedness 
  • Fatigue 
  • Behavioral or mood changes 

In some cases, those who suffer TBIs may also experience memory and concentration issues, as well as nausea or vomiting, seizures or convulsions, slurred speech, weakness or numbness in the limbs, or a loss of coordination. 

How are brain injuries treated? 

According to the Mayo Clinic, the severity of the head trauma they suffer guides the treatment people receive for TBIs. Some may require only rest and over-the-counter pain relievers to alleviate their symptoms and recover from their injuries. More serious TBIs may require emergency care such as the administration of oxygen and measure to avoid further injury to the neck or head. In some cases, people who suffer TBIs may be prescribed medications to help control or resolve their symptoms, or they may require surgical interventions or rehabilitation.