Slip-and-fall accidents may not seem very dangerous on the surface. If you slip in the bathtub, you may expect to bruise your knee or sprain your wrist. As you get older – and your bones become more brittle – slip and falls are more likely to lead to serious physical ailments, such as fractures or breaks.
However, you may not realize that as an older adult, your chance of incurring a traumatic brain injury from a slip and fall is considerably higher than for younger people. Here’s why:
Your brain anatomy
Your brain “floats” in the middle of your head, connected to your skull by hair-like threads known as bridging veins. As you get older, your body begins to shrink. The same goes for your brain – leaving more space between your brain and your skull. Your bridging veins also become thinner and weaker. A smaller brain doesn’t impact cognitive function or intelligence. However, it is more vulnerable to injury.
When exposed to trauma, thinner bridging veins are more likely to become damaged – which can lead to bleeding in the brain. Such injuries should be treated as soon as possible, so it’s important to be aware of the warning signs. Symptoms of traumatic brain injury include:
- Memory loss, or sudden worsening of existing memory loss
- Bladder incontinence
- Balance difficulties
Falls are the number one cause of traumatic brain injury in the U.S. – and nearly 80% of such injuries occur in adults 65 and over. If you – or an older adult you love – suffered a fall due to someone else’s negligence, it’s important to be aware of the risk factors of brain damage. Be alert to the signs of such injury, and get a complete neurological exam if something seems off. You deserve compensation for any such injuries.