Recognizing the Warning Signs of an Acquired Brain Injury

Have you noticed that your parent or elder adult in your family is acting differently lately? In some cases, changes in behavior can mean that an elder loved one suffered an Acquired Brain Injury. Understanding and recognizing the warning signs can help ensure senior family members receive the care they need.

An Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) can happen in day-to-day life from:

  • Falls
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Heart attack-respiratory arrest
  • Stroke

More unusual causes of ABI can include gunshot or knife wounds, near drowning and anaphylactic shock (a serious allergic reaction). An ABI can effect an individual’s memory, ability to execute tasks, and can prevent them from taking appropriate initiative, like paying their taxes on time.

Early signs of behavioral changes include restlessness, tardiness, and increased confrontational or argumentative behavior. These warning signs can escalate to more dangerous behaviors including property destruction, pushing or shoving, increased use of alcohol and refusal to do normal tasks or activities.

If you notice these behaviors in a senior family member, it’s time to ask for help from the doctor or an Aging Life Care Manager.

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