The initiative was developed to raise awareness about preventing, recognizing, and responding to fall-related traumatic brain injury (TBI) in older adults. The Help Seniors Live Better, Longer: Prevent Brain Injury initiative reaches out to children and caregivers of adults 75 and older with messages to help them understand ways to prevent falls, the leading cause of TBI among older adults, learn the symptoms of TBI in older adults, and how to respond to a TBI should one occur.
TBI is a special health concern for older adults. People ages 75 and older have the highest rates of TBI-related hospitalizations and death. In addition, they recover more slowly and die more often from these injuries than do younger people.
- More than one-third of the adults 65 years and older in the United States fall each year.
- Twenty to 30 percent of people in this age group who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as bruises, hip fractures, or head traumas. These injuries can make it hard to move around and limit independent living. They can also increase the risk of early death.
- Falls are the most common cause of TBI. In 2000, TBI occurred in 46% of fatal falls among older adults.
- Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths. They are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma.
- Approximately 85% of deaths caused by falls in 2004 were among people age 75 years and older.
- People 75 years and older who fall are 4 to 5 times more likely than younger people to be hospitalized in a long-term care facility for a year or longer.
Article Source; APTA, Geriatric Section