Head Injuries Are a Serious Risk for Seniors Who Fall
Seniors, particularly those over the age of 80 are being admitted to hospital with head injuries. Falls make up more than 60% of the hospital admissions for TBI for those over the age of 65.
A study published last week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal analysed the video recordings of more than 225 falls in long term care homes. Video cameras had been set up in halls and lounges to record the falls. The findings were surprising to me:
- 37% hit their heads on the ground when they fell
- 30% of people who hit their heads were diagnosed with injury
- No concussions were diagnosed, although the researchers noted the difficulty in distinguishing concussion symptoms in those with dementia
- Although most of the seniors who fell threw their arms out to break their falls it had no effect in doing so. As we age our reflexes remain good, but our muscular strength deteriorates.
The researchers concluded that maintaining muscular strength and monitoring medication side effects may help to prevent falls, and head injuries in seniors.