June 16, 2016

Acquired Brain Injury and Seniors

Acquired brain injury refers to damage to the brain that occurs any time after birth from an injury or illness (but not illnesses that deteriorate over time such as MS or Alzheimer’s). Examples of acquired brain injuries include the following.
• a blow to the head
• a brain tumour
• a brain infection such as encephalitis or meningitis
• lack of oxygen from accident or near drowning
• stroke

The location of the brain injury determines its severity and its effects. A brain injury may cause cognitive problems such as difficulty with problem solving and language problems; physical problems such as balance, fatigue, vision changes or headaches; or emotional problems such as anxiety, aggression or impulsiveness.

Acquired Brain Injury and Seniors
Seniors may have an increased risk of suffering from an acquired brain injury due to normal changes associated with aging. For example, balance problems in the later years may increase the risk of falling and hitting your head.

Aging with a previous brain injury may bring additional problems because the natural aging process can worsen symptoms. Seniors whose brain injury has caused cognitive problems, for example, may find those challenges intensify as they get older. As well, stroke risk increases with age and with a previous stroke.

For more information, check out this website about aging with a brain injury.

Help in Alberta
The Alberta Brain Injury Initiative offers in-depth information and extensive resources to those in Alberta who’ve experienced an acquired brain injury and to their loved ones. Find their Survival Guide here.

For more posts like these, visit the Physical Wellness page.