Traumatic brain injuries have become an increasingly common problem for older adults. They are more likely to be fatal than in younger people, and outcomes for TBIs are also generally worse. As a result, researchers looked at factors that might influence the likelihood of an older adult sustaining such an injury.
Their study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, and it examined more than 4,000 people over the age of 65 who did not suffer from dementia and who had never had a TBI. The study followed the participants for an average of 7.5 years and examined their alcohol consumption, overall health and physical activity as well as whether they were depressed. The researchers also looked at their cognitive ability and whether they were able to perform the tasks of daily living such as feeding themselves, bathing and dressing. Each time they met, researchers also asked participants if they had sustained a head injury that resulted in unconsciousness.
Researchers identified several factors that appeared to be linked to a higher incidence of a TBI. The inability to perform daily tasks, depression, diseases affecting the vascular system and having more than one chronic disease were linked to a higher probability of such an injury. People who struggled with daily tasks were also more likely to die after a TBI.
Regardless of their age, people who incur a traumatic brain injury often need expensive long-term care. When the injury has been caused by the negligence of another party, such as an impaired driver or a store owner who failed to properly maintain its premises resulting in a sudden slip and fall, an attorney could be of assistance in seeking compensation for these and other losses.