Concussions and mild brain injuries have been in the news a lot recently. Much of this discussion has focused on prevalence among athletes. However, research has stumbled upon an alarming new discovery. The aging population over 65 years old is experiencing a large rise in the number of concussions and other brain injuries.
After digging into the issue, researchers have found that more older adults are experiencing one or multiple falls at home. In fact, 1 in every 45 Americans over 75 years old suffered some form of brain injury following a fall in 2013 alone. Furthermore the CDC has reported that more than 1/3 of older adults with minor head injuries end up back in the ER within 90 days, and a staggering 27,000 people die each year following a fall.
Falls are relatively common in the elderly population. Some reasons include impaired vision, dizziness, decreased strength, diminished agility, and multiple other health problems.
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So how do you prevent falls? Experts recommend having vision checked regularly, perform a strength program, and work on your balance. You can also make your home safer by removing loose rungs or tripping hazards, improving lighting, and installing handrails and grab bars.
In addition you shoulder recognize the signs of a concussion or brain injury. The chart below shows common symptoms. If you have experienced a fall and have may of the problems below, talk to you physical therapist or primary care doctor.
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