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Brain “shrinkage” and what it means for seniors who suffer TBIs

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Personal Injury |

If you’re a senior or have loved ones in their senior years, you likely know that falls can be more serious for older people than for those in their younger or even middle-age years. Most often, when this topic is discussed, it involves fractures.

As people age, their bones become more fragile and more easily broken. While this condition – osteoporosis – is more common in women, men can suffer from it as well. 

Another potentially serious injury that can result from a fall is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). These can also be more serious in older people. While TBIs can result from a car crash or a blow to the head in a violent attack or, more than 80% of TBIs in those who are at least 65 years old are caused by falls. Why are TBIs more serious (and more likely to lead to hospitalization and even death) as people get into their senior years? 

How does shrinkage leave the brain less protected?

You may have heard about people “shrinking” as they get older – and in fact, they do, to some degree. The brain also experiences some shrinkage. That shrinkage has nothing to do with intelligence, knowledge or cognition. It does mean, however, that there’s a greater amount of space between the skull and the brain, so the brain is less protected if the head strikes something (or something strikes it), than it once was.

One possible result can be a subdural hematoma. That’s when the brain suffers a bruise that begins bleeding. That bleeding can be exacerbated by anti-inflammatory or blood-thinning medications that older people often take.

The sooner a subdural hematoma can be diagnosed, the better your chances are of surviving it. That’s why it’s especially important for seniors to be evaluated by a doctor after they’ve suffered a head injury – but it’s good advice for everyone.

If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI due to another party’s actions or negligence, don’t let them or their insurance company blame the injury on age or say that they aren’t responsible for extensive medical bills that a younger person might now have. That’s not how injury liability works.  someone else’s actions or negligence, you should explore your right to seek compensation. The best thing to do is get experienced legal guidance as soon as possible to protect your right to compensation.