Seniors can sustain a variety of injuries after a fall, and a concussion is one of the most common and potentially problematic if not treated properly. Mississauga home care professionals discuss 3 steps you can take to help your elderly loved one if he or she has had a concussion.
1. Seek Medical Attention
The first step following any serious blow or injury to the head is to see a doctor. In some cases, the symptoms of a concussion can be subtle and easily overlooked, but bleeding and blood clots in the brain can be life threatening if not treated immediately. A doctor can perform a CT scan and other tests on your loved one to determine the extent of the injury and can recommend steps to facilitate recovery. If your loved one experiences the following symptoms following a head injury, he or she should head to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible:
- Numbness, weakness, or decreased coordination
- Slurred speech
- Continued nausea and vomiting
- A headache that worsens and does not resolve
- Unequally sized pupils
2. Encourage Plenty of Rest
Your loved one will need to significantly restrict his or her physical activity for the first few days following a concussion, which includes avoiding unnecessary physical activity and getting as much bed rest as possible. It is also important to limit cognitive stimulation, including social visits, television, and reading. Activities requiring detailed attention can exacerbate concussion symptoms and even lengthen the recovery time. Your loved one should also try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to speed up the healing process.
After a concussion, your loved one should avoid driving without a doctor’s clearance because the reaction time when behind the wheel will likely be slower. It is also a good idea for him or her to avoid airline travel while recovering from a concussion because the pressure and altitude changes can exacerbate the symptoms.
3. Avoid Medications
Immediately following a concussion, it is important for your loved one to avoid taking over-the-counter or prescription medications without a doctor’s approval. Certain medications may slow recovery or even cause further injury. For instance, aspirin and prescription blood thinners can increase the risk of bleeding in the brain.
Learn more about caring for a senior who has sustained a concussion by reaching out to Home Care Assistance. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one during and after recovery. In addition to our respite and 24-hour care services, we also offer comprehensive Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke care Mississauga seniors can count on. For more information on our in-home care services, call one of our experienced Care Managers at (519) 590-2792 today.