Depression afflicts nearly half of people who have received a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Family members trying to help their loved one cope with the physical limitations caused by the brain injury may have a difficult time knowing how to help them deal with the mental limitations. What is the best way to help your family member with a TBI?
The Family Is A Brain Injury Victim’s Greatest Ally
Though it can be frustrating to see the often mind-boggling aftershocks of traumatic brain injury, it is important to be supportive of your brain-injured family member. Not only do they have to deal with the daily effects of TBI, which may include personality changes, memory loss, or difficulty concentrating or working, but they must navigate their own family relationships as well. Nonetheless, it is important to recognize that frustration and even a feeling of desperation are common amongst family members of TBI survivors. It is normal and expected to feel confused, hurt, angry, even depressed yourself as you struggle to help a loved one who is suffering from brain injury and its effects.
It is essential that a victim of a TBI have a solid family support system even though dealing with the TBI is frustrating. Once a brain injured patient is released from intensive medical care, the family becomes his or her primary support system and often takes on medical care roles. Studies have shown that an adaptable family structure is vital to good recovery from traumatic brain injury. This implies that the family members must acknowledge the fact that a change is unavoidable and that they must change their daily routines to meet the realities of a brain injury victim. This also means a challenging coming-to-terms with the personality changes, isolation or embarrassment that may be experienced by a brain-damaged family member. As the family member of a TBI survivor, you may sometimes feel powerless to help your loved one. The reality is that your support can be vital to your relative’s quality of life and continued recovery. Speak with your family member’s medical care providers, if possible, to find out how you can be involved in medical care.
Caring For A Relative With Brain Damage: Make Sure You Have Support
Though it is important to show up for your brain-injured family member, recognize your own need for support and care. It may help you to join a support group or seek counseling as you deal with the inevitable family changes that accompany brain injury. The internet can also be a good resource for the family struggling to find support for TBI: chat group and online message boards can be comforting and educational as you attain more knowledge about your new role in your family member’s life and how to adjust to this space. It may feel unneeded to find support for yourself; after all, you’re not the family member who is directly suffering from TBI. But in order to be an effective caretaker for your brain-damaged loved one, it is vital that you yourself feel equipped to deal with daily life and approach your family member with a positive, loving and tolerant attitude. A place to discharge anger and annoyance or a group of knowledgeable friends can help bridge the difference from daily frustration to a feeling of optimism.
Families Are Effective Brain Injury Advocates
Feeling as if your efforts to help your brain-injured loved one aren’t working? Try acting as an advocate on their behalf. With the cognitive changes that come with TBI, it is easy for traumatic brain injury victims to fall victim to those who do not respect their rights or take their medical responsibilities seriously. Fortunately, family members are the most effective support system for victims of brain injuries. You can assist your family member in keeping track of their medical care, making medical decisions, and maneuvering the enigmatic world of social services, insurance companies, and doctors. Staying educated and always being positive is beneficial in achieving proposed goals for your loved one with a brain injury.
Sometimes it is necessary to enlist the help of an experienced traumatic brain injury attorney as you seek to make sense of a traumatic brain injury. An effective brain injury lawyer can join forces with a family to ensure a positive outcome and can act on your family’s behalf as you seek dignified treatment or even monetary damages to cover medical expenses, vocational rehabilitation or future medical care. Together, your attorney and your family members can form an effective system of support for the survivor of a traumatic brain injury, ensuring that they will continue to participate in and contribute to a happy family for years to come.