5 Ways to Help a Loved One with a TBI
It is concerning when a loved one sustains a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The uncertainties surrounding recovery and long-term injuries are often overwhelming. Unfortunately, the after-effects of a TBI can be long-lasting and sometimes permanent.
According to caregiver.org, an estimated 2.5 million people in the U.S. sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) annually, and 5.3 million Americans are currently living with disabilities related to brain injuries. In fact, TBIs are a contributing factor to 30 percent of all injury-related deaths in the U.S.
Some of the physical, mental, and behavioral changes that often occur as a result of a TBI include:
- Muscle problems
- Full or partial paralysis
- Speech difficulties
- Increased irritability
- Difficulty controlling emotions
- Personality changes
- Memory loss
TBIs can also be difficult for the loved ones of the individual impacted. Luckily, there are things that you can do to assist someone dealing with a traumatic brain injury. Here are some ways to help a loved one with a TBI.
- Provide structure and regularity to their life.
Since TBI injuries can change so many things for your loved one who has sustained one, he or she may not know what to do next. But by providing some normalcy and routine for them, you can help. Things that you can do include:
- Including them in daily activities
- Treating them the same as before
- Placing objects that they need close to them
- Creating a photo album with information about each family member and friend to help boost their memory
- Provide familiar and comforting things.
An unfamiliar place such as a hospital can be intimidating and scary, so if your loved one is in a hospital or rehab setting, you can provide them with some things that they are used to. By playing their favorite music or giving them their favorite food or blanket, they can become more comfortable. Your presence at times can also be very helpful so that they do not feel alone. Just be sure to give them time and space to rest as well.
- Run errands for them.
Even a mild TBI, such as a concussion, can suck the energy out of someone. It can often become more difficult to complete everyday activities. Since they are often tired, you can offer to run errands for them, such as grocery shopping or picking up medicine at the pharmacy. This way, you can assist them in getting things done without making them feel less capable of having to ask you for help.
- Take them out of the house.
In addition to the physical exhaustion that commonly occurs after a TBI, depression is also very common. This can cause your loved one to want to stay in and not do anything. This is why it is important that they do get out of the house – even for a short time. Taking them somewhere more quiet and calm, such as a small café, can help. Just do not take them anywhere that can be overwhelming.
- Help them stay organized.
One of the most common side effects of TBI is memory loss. Remembering even simple things such as where they placed things or when their appointments are can be hard. Some of the things that you can do to help include:
- Labeling things
- Encouraging and assisting them in creating lists
- Offering to drive them places
- Explaining things in detail
- Teaching them a way to remember things such as calendar reminders
The most important thing that you can do is to be patient with them. It may get frustrating and it can be difficult to stay calm when things become challenging, but remember that they are likely struggling as well.
An Experienced Lawyer Can Help Get the Care Your Loved One Needs
If you or a loved one has experienced a traumatic brain injury, it can have a major impact on your life. The attorneys at Graves McLain have substantial experience in representing individuals in these types of accidents. There is no charge for Graves McLain to review your case. If we represent you, we will handle your case on a contingency fee basis (calculated as a percentage of the recovery we obtain). Call an experienced Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney at Graves McLain at 918-359-6600 today. Trust our team. We’re here to help.
Graves McLain – Serious Lawyers for Serious Injuries