Moderate brain damage is one of the three levels of traumatic brain injury (TBI), between mild and severe. A TBI occurs when a hard force hits the skull or makes the brain move inside it. Some common examples include getting hit on the head, getting shaken very vigorously, or whiplash.
Professionals categorize a brain injury as moderate to severe when it renders the person unconscious for more than 30 minutes. They may also suffer from temporary amnesia that could more than a day, according to a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Brain injuries can endanger anyone, including seniors. Many types of brain damage do not only cause headaches and nausea, but can also bring life-changing consequences too. One such kind is moderate brain damage. Knowing what moderate brain damage is and its symptoms can help determine if your senior loved one is suffering from it at their nursing home.
Medical attention is a must for anyone who just suffered from a brain injury, no matter how mild it may seem. An early diagnosis can help the doctor prescribe the right treatment to contain the damage before it worsens. MRI and CT scans can help determine the extent of damage while a psychologist assesses the changes in how you think and act.
The Impact of Moderate Brain Damage
Moderate brain damage shares many symptoms with severe brain damage but to a lesser degree. It is still possible for medical treatments to heal the brain entirely, but some side effects might take a long time to subside. In some cases, they may remain permanently.
Depending on where the impact was, moderate injuries can affect different areas of the brain, such as those that handle behavior or speech. Here are some symptoms of moderate to severe TBIs, according to Mayo Clinic:
Both moderate and severe brain injuries can make it more difficult to have clear thoughts. Either of these injuries could cause memory lapses and trouble concentrating on tasks. It might also take longer for their mind to process information.
The brain also controls the senses, so any damage to it may affect how your senior loved one perceives the world around them. They might become less or more sensitive to light, heat, and sound. Odors could even smell different them, or they might have a hard time feeling textures.
Brain injuries can also alter your loved one’s personality and how they process emotions. They could experience frequent mood swings or impulsiveness, making them depressed or anxious as well.
Loss of Motor Skills
Moderate damage to the brain can result in physical disabilities that could be permanent or leave after some time. A senior with moderate brain damage could be more challenged when it comes to coordinating their actions and making delicate movements like holding a pen. They might also experience numb extremities.
Brain injuries can also impact a nursing home patient’s ability to speak and read. They may have more difficulties when it comes to reading comprehension and understanding what other people say. They could even start slurring when you talk.
All of these side effects can make it difficult for senior patients to go back to a normal lifestyle. You might notice they have a harder time expressing themselves and doing activities they like. But with the help of proper rehabilitation, therapy, and supportive loved ones, a full recovery is still possible.
How to Keep Your Loved Ones Safe from Brain Damage in a Nursing Home
Check your loved one’s nursing home residence for wet floors that could cause them to slip and hit their head. Also, keep an eye out for poorly designed bed railings and low hanging shelves and cupboards that could cause head trauma. If they had a head collision at any point during their stay, have them checked by a medical professional.
Keep in mind that caretakers must exercise patience when handling elders who are still suffering from the aftereffects of brain damage. Having to deal with problems like mood swings and hypersensitivities can be mentally draining. However, they should not lower their standard of care because of a work challenge. Pay attention to how caretakers in the nursing home treat other senior residents.
Ignoring Brain Injuries is a Form of Negligence
It is not always easy to tell if moderate brain damage is what your elderly family member suffers from. Nonetheless, if a resident exhibits any sign of brain injury, the nursing home must provide the appropriate care to ease their suffering. If they let the injury worsen, intentionally or not, it is grounds for a nursing home abuse or neglect case.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is ready to offer our legal counsel if you plan to file a lawsuit against the nursing home. We can review your evidence to help solidify your claim and represent you in court. We will work hard so you and your elder loved one can receive compensation for all the medical expenses and pain they went through because of their brain injury. For a free case evaluation, call our team at (800) 842-6336.