Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance

Seniors and Falls

A blow to the head can disrupt the normal function of the brain. This can occur even when there is no visible damage. Concussion is the most common form of brain injury.

Traumatic brain injury symptoms can be missed or misinterpreted by the individual family members and even doctors. People may appear fine even though they're acting or feeling differently.

Every brain injury is different because the brain is very complex. Traumatic brain injuries can adversely affect many functions we take for granted every day, including speech, vision, balance, logic and memory.

After a brain injury or concussion, be alert for symptoms that may not show up for days or even weeks after the injury. An adult should go to the emergency room, see their doctor or call 911 if they experience any of the following:

  • Trouble answering simple questions
  • A headache that gets worse even after medication
  • Changes in personality or behavior
  • Pupils are different sizes
  • Stumbling or problems with balance
  • Double vision, dizziness or slurred speech
  • Seizures
  • Blood or clear fluid from nose or ears
  • Persistent vomiting

If you answer yes to the following questions, talk to your doctor about getting help:

  • Has there been a personality change?
  • Does the individual get angry for no reason?
  • Does the individual get lost or easily confused?
  • Does the individual have more trouble than usual making decisions?
  • Is there a significant drop in performance (work, sports, social, etc.)?
  • Are there problems in thinking processes (memory, concentration, learning, speaking or understanding)?
  • For more information on falls and prevention, contact the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance at 612-378-2742 or 800-669-6442.