You may be aware that former president Jimmy Carter recently suffered a fall. In fact, he fell twice during the month of October 2019. Both falls resulted in injuries. One fall caused a fractured pelvis and the other a cut on the head that required 14 stitches. Unfortunately, the falls also caused a subdural hematoma, which placed pressure on Mr. Carter’s brain. He recently underwent surgery to relieve the pressure.
Because subdural hematomas are one of the things that can happen if your aging relative falls, knowing more about them can help you to determine when additional treatment is needed.
What Is a Subdural Hematoma?
A subdural hematoma occurs when blood collects in the skull. It is usually caused by a blow to the head, such as from a fall or a car accident. A blood vessel breaks and leaks blood. The build-up of blood puts pressure on the brain because of the limited space. There are three kinds of subdural hematomas:
Acute: This is the most dangerous kind of hematoma. It happens after a severe head injury. The symptoms usually begin immediately.
Subacute: With a subacute hematoma, it takes a few days or even weeks for the symptoms to start.
Chronic: A chronic hematoma happens when a person suffers a mild head injury that results in a slow bleed. It can take weeks or months for the symptoms to start. Sometimes, the person won’t even remember bumping their head because the bump can be so minor. For example, it’s possible to cause a bleed just by bumping the head while getting into the car.
What Are the Symptoms?
Depending on the type of subdural hematoma, it can take a while for symptoms to begin. Some of the symptoms of a subdural hematoma are:
- A headache that gets worse.
- Feeling drowsy and starting to lose consciousness.
- Pupils that appear two different sizes.
- Slurred speech.
When Should Seniors See a Doctor?
Your aging relative should see a doctor any time they have a blow to the head that causes a headache that doesn’t go away or if they lose consciousness. They should also see a doctor if they are vomiting, weak, unsteady, or complain of blurred vision. If your older family member doesn’t show signs of a subdural hematoma, continue monitoring them for a while for physical, mental, and emotional changes.
A senior care provider can help in preventing a subdural hematoma in your aging relative. A senior care provider can reduce the risks of a fall by helping the older adult when they get up from a chair, offering support when they walk, and taking steps around the house to remove fall hazards. If the older adult should fall, a senior care provider can help to monitor them for signs of a subdural hematoma and help them to get medical care, if necessary.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional Senior Care Services in Morris County NJ, please talk to the caring staff at Generations Home Health Care today. Providing Home Care in Somerset, Essex, Union, Morris and Hunterdon Counties. Call us today at (908) 290-0691 or (973) 241-4534.
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