Whether you have been a caregiver for your elderly parent for some time or you are just getting started on your care journey with them, one thing that you have likely thought considerably about is Alzheimer’s disease. You have probably reviewed the risk factors, considered what might make your parent particularly vulnerable, and learned the early warning signs to give you confidence that if your parent was suffering this condition you could identify it.
What you might not have thought about is how something such as an injury could influence this condition and your parent’s risk.
The truth is there are many factors that influence Alzheimer’s disease, and one that is not always thought of immediately is the history of traumatic brain injury. TBI is a leading cause of disability and death throughout the United States and is particularly troublesome for elderly adults. Seniors who suffer such an injury are more likely to experience a variety of illnesses and other serious consequences, such as increased risk of falls, cognitive changes, and sensory changes. This also includes the possibility of increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
It is not fully understood why suffering a traumatic brain injury increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease other than the link of damage to and death of brain cells, and as of now the individual risk that any person faces cannot be determined. This means that if your parent suffers such an injury a doctor cannot determine if they are then at higher risk of the disease or if they will develop it soon.
How can you protect your senior?
The best way to protect your senior from this and other serious consequences is to help them avoid TBI. Reducing fall risk, helping them to make safe lifestyle choices such as never climbing on chairs or other objects to reach shelves or cabinets, and always wearing their seatbelt when in the car are important steps.
If your parent is struggling with particular health challenges and complications, or you feel that they would benefit from additional support and assistance, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elderly care for them. An elderly home care services provider can be there with your aging parent on a customized schedule to ensure that they have access to the highly personalized services that they need to support a happy, healthy, comfortable, and safe quality of life as they age in place. These services are tailored specifically to your senior’s challenges and limitations and can include safe and reliable transportation to where they need and want to go, assistance with personal care needs such as bathing, toileting, and dressing, meal preparation, and companionship.