Research is finding that there is an increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease among those who have experienced brain injuries, especially repeated concussions. Although we are all at risk for head injuries, young people tend to suffer more head traumas. Therefore it is important to protect your head, no matter your age, for lifelong brain health.
Take Action to Avoid Head Injuries
- Protect against concussions by wearing an approved helmet when engaging in sporting activities such as skating, skiing, skateboarding, rollerblading and cycling. Set a good example and ensure that children in your care wear appropriate helmets.
- Drive safely and always wear a seat belt to reduce injuries in an accident.
- Use safety features like handrails to prevent falls. Falls are one of the major causes of head injuries in older adults. Many falls can be avoided and injuries prevented. Strategies include:
- exercises to improve strength, balance, and flexibility
- remove items around your home that may pose tripping hazards such as items on a staircase or shoes in a hallway
- relocate frequently used items so a chair or step ladder is not required to reach them
- review medications and dietary supplements (prescription and over-the-counter) with your doctor or pharmacist to avoid medications or combinations that may affect balance
- improve lighting indoors and outside to improve visibility, especially around stairways, hallways, entrances
- install handrails on all stairs (interior and exterior) and grab bars in bathrooms.
Resources: Canadian Standards Association for information on helmet safety.
Note: Your abilities, health situation and interests should be taken into consideration when choosing brain healthy activities. If you have questions about your own situation, speak to your doctor or health-care provider.