Why are TBIs more serious as people age?

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2024 | Premises Liability

Often, the biggest concern that seniors – and their loved ones and caregivers – have about falls is the potential to break bones. That’s certainly a valid concern.

As people get older, their bones lose density and fracture more easily. That’s especially true for women, but it happens to everyone. Some fractures – particularly hip fractures – can be particularly impactful to a person’s mobility, their ability to care for themselves and even their emotional well-being.

It’s important to understand, however, that a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can also be more serious in an older person than a younger one. Over 80% of TBIs suffered by those 65 and older occur in falls. 

Understanding the effect of brain shrinkage

We’ve all heard that people shrink as they get older. It may not always be noticeable, but it happens. Shrinkage also occurs in the brain. This creates more space between the brain and the skull, which protects the brain. 

That means the brain is more likely to be injured if the head strikes the floor, ground or other surface or object. One particularly serious outcome can be a subdural hematoma. This is a bleed in the brain. It’s crucial to get that diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible. That’s just one reason it’s important to see a doctor after hitting your head in a fall.

If you or an older loved one has suffered a fall caused by a property owner’s negligence, remember that the age and physical condition of the person who fell has nothing to do with the property owner’s liability. If there was a dangerous condition that they knew or should have known about and they did nothing to address it, they likely can be held liable for your medical expenses and other financial losses and damages. Don’t sign any kind of liability waiver or agree to any settlement until you’re fully aware of your legal rights.



FindLaw Network
Nathan A. Cobb