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Concussions in the Elderly

Most people know about concussions in athletes, active kids, and young adults. But anyone at any age can suffer a concussion.

More and more, doctors are identifying concussions and other brain injuries in older adults — mostly due to falls.

Concussion symptoms aren't always obvious and differ depending on which of the six clinical trajectories the concussion takes.

Some older adults might feel dizzy when they go to the grocery store or shopping mall where it's active and noisy.

Others may feel foggy, or extremely tired and run down.

How Do You Treat Concussions in Seniors?

Getting the proper treatment right off the bat is key to healing and preventing further injury and decline in function.

Concussion treatment for older adults is like that of a young athlete. The goal is to get them back to the activity level they had before their injury.

But often, doctors miss symptoms — such as dizziness, balance issues, and memory problems — since they're common in other concerns like:

  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • "Normal aging"

Without the right care, symptoms may cause older adults — even those with active, vibrant lifestyles — to “hide away." This can lead to seclusion and a sharp decrease in social and physical activity.

At the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program, seniors get the same level of quality care as elite athletes.

We tailor treatment plans to each person's unique needs and concussion symptoms.

Contact Us About Concussion Care

Older adults with concussion symptoms should talk to their PCP or call the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program at 412-432-3681.