The majority of patients admitted to hospital after head injury are young men and the characteristics of this group tend to dominate accounts of cranial injury. All patients of 65 years or more admitted to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary neurotrauma unit over a 1-year period were studied and 146 suffering minor head injury were identified. In this group the sex incidence was equal and falls were responsible for two-thirds of the injuries. Alcohol was a contributory factor in over half of the male patients. The incidence of other noteworthy medical and social factors was high and the length of stay in hospital was twice that of younger persons. It is suggested that the elderly represent a group with special needs which might most effectively be met by an overnight observation ward served by neurosurgeons and specialists in geriatric medicine.