Elder Care in Cypress, TX
The thought of a head injury is frightening for anyone, but as a family caregiver for your elderly parents, it is essential to understand the risks associated with this type of injury and how to proper manage them so you can make protecting your parents' life and ongoing health after a head injury part of your elder care plan. Elderly adults over the age of 75 are the most likely to suffer hospitalization or death associated with traumatic brain injury caused by a fall. While falls are the most common cause of head injury, there are other ways your aging loved ones could suffer this type of injury, including:
- Automobile accidents
- Sports injuries
- Shock waves such as from extremely loud sounds or battlefield explosions
- Indirect forces that cause violent shaking of the brain
As a caregiver you should also be aware that research into brain injuries have shown seniors who have had moderate to severe head injuries are at a much higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. Even years after the injury itself, the lingering effects make it more likely an elderly adult will develop dementia.
Many people have the perception that it takes an extreme event to cause a head injury and may not pay attention to such an injury because an event or accident does not seem severe enough to have caused an injury of this severity, or symptoms seem minor. If your aging parents have been involved in any type of accident such as a vehicle collision, impact while riding a bike, or falling from a height of more than 3 feet, get emergency medical attention so that the doctor can make a proper diagnosis.
If your elderly parent has been involved in an accident, look for the following symptoms that may indicate a head injury:
- Forgetfulness, especially not remembering the cause of the injury or events of the day of the accident
- Blurred vision
- Incoherent speech
- Inability to remember new information given to them after the injury
- Ringing in the ears
- Changes in emotional state, personality, or sleep patterns in the days, weeks, or even months after the injury
- Stopping breathing or breathing disruptions
- Bleeding from the head, eyes, or nose
- Weakness in the arms or legs
- Discoloration behind the ears or below the eyes that looks like bruising
Minor head injuries do not require hospitalization or emergency care, but if your elderly parents experience a moderate to severe injury to the head, proper first aid and medical attention is essential for helping your parents recover. Use these tips to help you respond to serious head injuries:
- Call 911
- Keep your elderly parent still and lying down
- Do not move his neck or head
- Do not remove a helmet or headwear
- Apply pressure with gauze or a cloth to stop bleeding, but avoid applying pressure directly to a wound if you suspect your parent may have sustained a skull fracture
- Monitor your parent for changes in heart rate or breathing and be prepared to administer CPR if necessary
- Be ready to give emergency medical responders or the doctors at the hospital information pertaining to the injury, including how it occurred, the senior's immediate response, any changes in symptoms, and any pain he is experiencing in his extremities, back, or neck.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from the help of elder care in Cypress, TX, contact the caregivers at SYNERGY HomeCare. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care service. Call (281) 407-1200 for more information.