Can a Head Injury Cause Dementia?

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Each year, thousands of people are hospitalized for injuries to their brains caused by falls or blows to the head. Since traumatic brain injuries can affect brain health, you might be wondering if an injury can cause dementia. The relationship between brain injuries and dementia is quite complex, so seniors shouldn’t assume they’re going to get dementia just because they bumped their heads as children. Here’s what you need to know about the link between dementia and brain injuries. 

Can People Get Dementia Immediately after Head Injuries?

In the days following a head injury, it’s possible for a person to display many signs of dementia, including forgetfulness, confusion, and impaired cognition. In some cases, this is a relatively mild symptom that gradually goes away in the months after the brain injury, but sometimes it’s permanent. However, dementia caused directly by a head injury normally doesn’t worsen over time like other forms of dementia. 

Seniors with head injuries often need assistance with everyday activities while they recover. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Do Brain Injuries Increase Long-Term Dementia Risks?

Even if your senior loved one doesn’t show any signs of dementia following a head injury, he or she may not be entirely safe from dementia. Brain injuries are classified as mild, moderate, or severe depending on the nature of the injury. Though a single mild injury isn’t associated with an increased dementia risk, a moderate brain injury raises the risk of Alzheimer’s by 2.3 times, while a severe injury increases it by 4.5 times. 

Repeated mild brain injuries, such as those experienced by athletes in football, boxing, and hockey, can also result in heightened dementia risks. In addition to being more likely to develop dementia, people with histories of multiple head injuries tend to show signs of dementia at earlier ages than the average population. 

Seniors with dementia, no matter what the cause, can optimize their quality of life with the help of highly trained, experienced professional caregivers. If your senior loved one needs professional dementia care, Anchorage caregivers are available around the clock to provide the high-quality care he or she needs. Using the revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method, dementia caregivers can help your loved one stay mentally engaged and delay the progression of the disease.

What’s the Treatment for Dementia Caused by a Head Injury?

When a person shows signs of dementia immediately after a head injury, treatment focuses on boosting overall health and providing rehabilitation. People with head injuries need to rest, eat healthy, and avoid exhausting activity while giving their brains a chance to heal. 

Cognitive rehabilitation and behavioral modification treatments can provide the tools seniors need to adapt to their new level of functioning. Some people may experience positive changes, while others may end up with memory loss and reduced cognitive function for the rest of their lives. 

What Should Caregivers Do about Heightened Dementia Risks?

If your loved one has already had a moderate or severe brain injury, don’t assume he or she will get dementia. Though damage to the brain can increase the likelihood of getting dementia, it doesn’t guarantee it. Dementia is caused by a complex blend of genetic and environmental factors, so living a healthy lifestyle and protecting the head from further injury may keep the brain healthy. 

If your loved one has experienced a head injury or is living with dementia, having a trained professional caregiver close by can provide you and your family with much-needed peace of mind. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. Anchorage families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. If you need professional care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (907) 770-0907.


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