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How to Identify a Concussion after a Fall in a Nursing Home

How to identify a concussion after fall in nursing homeThe dangers of concussions are frequently discussed on the news, typically in relation to athletes, children, and teenagers. But it’s often overlooked that seniors are at high-risk too. Elderly people are especially susceptible to concussions while in nursing homes, with nearly 75% of concussions leading to catastrophic brain injuries. The following information will discuss why this is, how to recognize concussions, and the outcomes.  

Why Concussions are Common in Nursing Homes 

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by a direct hit to the head or the body that causes the brain to move back and forth quickly, resulting in a temporary loss of brain function. While concussions often seem minor, they can have lasting effects in elderly patients. The brain can only sustain a certain amount of impact, and when a sudden jolt or blow to the head moves it out of place, cells that keep the brain functioning properly can be damaged.

 

Falls are the number one cause of concussions, especially in nursing homes. Since elderly people are more fragile, falls can both impact the brain and result in other life-threatening injuries. Every year, over 1,800 nursing home residents die as a result of a fall. Falls in nursing homes typically occur in the following situations:  

  • Going to the bathroom 
  • Transferring from a wheelchair to a bed 
  • Coming in and out of the bath or shower
  • Reaching for items 
  • Walking through unkempt areas in and outside the facility 

 

Falls in nursing homes can be a red flag indicating that your loved one might be abused or neglected. The nursing home staff’s duty is to ensure that all residents are safe and cared for. Most of the time, these types of situations can be prevented through proper supervision. When you’re not there to see everything that’s going on, you won’t be able to identify for yourself whether your loved one sustained a concussion when they fell.

 

Unfortunately, many nursing homes fail to act quickly when residents are hurt or injured because they don’t want to deal with injury reports and other tedious paperwork. Whether the fall was an accident or was caused by a lack of attention or a hazard in the facility, waiting or abstaining from providing elderly individuals with prompt medical treatment and examinations can cause irreparable damage to the brain. 

How to Recognize a Concussion after a Fall in a Nursing Home 

Recognizing a concussion after a fall in a nursing home can be difficult because symptoms aren’t always visible. However, some concussions can cause a wide range of moderate to severe injuries in elderly people, such as bruising, ruptured blood vessels, nerve damage, or unconsciousness. Other signs of a concussion include:  

  • Headache 
  • Dizziness 
  • Lack of concentration 
  • Swelling 
  • Trouble seeing or sensitivity to light
  • Seizures or convulsions 
  • Confusion or disorientation 
  • Mood swings 
  • Post-traumatic amnesia 
  • Incoherent or slurred speech  

 

Concussed elderly patients should be monitored regularly after a fall to see if symptoms get worse. When episodes of loss of consciousness, vomiting, or seizures get worse, this may suggest that something else is going on and that emergency services must be sought. 

Consequences and Long-Term Effects of Concussions 

Although medical providers generally deem concussions to be mild, the effects of untreated concussions can be devastating in elderly patients. Physical, emotional, and mental issues as a result of a concussion can slow down the recovery process, possibly leading to depression and sadness. Other serious long-term effects include: 

  • Increased risk of dementia
  • Post-concussive syndrome 
  • Epilepsy 
  • Cognitive impairment 

 

Pursuing legal action may be your only chance to help get your loved one’s life back on track. Not receiving the necessary treatment that was needed after the incident could have exacerbated the concussion into a lifelong illness, accompanied by extensive medical expenses and suffering. A skilled nursing home abuse attorney can make sure you and your family are compensated for all your losses.

New York Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Committed to Protecting the Elderly 

Falls happen all the time in nursing homes. If you notice that your loved one is exhibiting signs of a concussion and have grounds to believe that a caregiver is acting neglectfully, report the issue right away, seek medical attention, and then reach out to the legal team at Dalli & Marino, LLP for guidance through the legal process. We believe that vulnerable populations must be protected and represented when they are unable to do so for themselves, which is why we put every ounce of effort to make certain nursing homes and caregivers are held accountable for their wrongdoings.

 

At Dalli & Marino in NYC, our seasoned trial attorneys understand that it can be difficult to comprehend that a caregiver under legal or contractual obligation could abuse or neglect your elderly loved one. Since 1996, we’ve worked to ensure all our clients are treated with respect, professionalism, and compassion while providing the personalized attention and expertise that their case needs to obtain a successful outcome. To discuss your case and options today, call 888-465-8790 or complete our contact form for a free case evaluation.