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Traumatic Brain Injury

How to Care for Someone After a Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain InjuryWhen a loved one suffers a traumatic brain injury, the effects spread to friends and family too. If you are the caretaker for your spouse, sibling or parent after one of these injuries, you may find it difficult to provide them with care while also sorting through your own feelings.

Understanding, patience, and self-care are essential to providing this support to your loved one. Here’s how you can care for a loved one after a traumatic brain injury affects your family.

Offer Understanding

Brain injuries may present differently every day, but even having a baseline knowledge of the possibilities can help you manage this. Know the main effects of the injury: does your loved one suffer mainly from short term memory loss? Or is there difficulty managing emotions? Knowing this is important to the care you provide — you will offer different care for a loved one with memory loss than you would with someone who faces more motor skill limitations.

Read material, ask doctors questions, and consider joining a support group that focuses on brain injuries. You will not only secure excellent knowledge that will help you on this journey, but you will also have the support of people facing similar situations.

Maintain Normalcy

If the injured individual is someone who was already living with you, now is not the time to make significant changes to your home environment. Change your living quarters enough to accommodate medical equipment and special needs, but avoid making aesthetic changes.

Brain injury victims may create their own order so they can find items that are important to them, however, this may produce a cluttered appearance. Resist the need to constantly pick up after them and try to keep objects in their preferred places. It may have been possible to completely clear a bathroom counter before the accident but now, that decision can be upsetting if your loved one needs to see things like toothbrushes, toiletries, and other tools for daily living.

Take Care of You

It is said that you cannot pour out of an empty cup. Self-care is vital during this period. If your mental or physical health go awry, you will not be an effective caregiver for your loved one or friend.

Some individuals retain some level of normal functioning after a brain injury. If your loved one falls under this category, learn to trust them on their own. Getting out to visit with friends or see a movie makes a big difference. Once you know your loved one is not a danger for themselves or others, extend that trust and grant them the dignity of autonomy. Allowing them to have that autonomy can help you to have more time to look after yourself.

For more serious impairments caused by a traumatic brain injury, look for respite care to fill in for you when you need it. A weekend or even just a few hours off will keep you from becoming resentful and help you feel like you are still part of the world.

Traumatic brain injury, especially when it arises from the negligent or intentional conduct of another, is difficult to manage for all involved. It can also lead to high medical expenses and new complications.

Mazow | McCullough, PC offers experience representing individuals and families affected by brain injuries. Call us today for an appointment to discuss compensation options for traumatic brain injuries at (855) 693-9084.

The Devastating Impact of Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury, also known as TBI for short, can have a profound and lifelong impact on an individual and their loved ones. A brain injury can cause changes both subtle and pronounced, making it difficult for a sufferer to carry on with their life as it once was. TBIs are often the result of an accident or injury to the head. According to the CDC, about 30% of all injury related deaths involve traumatic brain injuries. In 2013, approximately 2.8 million hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and deaths in the US involved TBIs.

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

The specific causes of TBIs are varied, but all are the result of a blow to the head and the brain. They can occur from a fall, an auto accident, an assault, bicycle or pedestrian accident, sporting accident, etc. In every case, the brain injury results from a sudden or violent blow to the head, in which the brain is then pushed or knocked to the side of the skull. It can cause internal bleeding and damage to the fibers in and around brain tissue. Falls are the most common cause of TBIs for individuals aged 4 to 75, according to the CDC.

How TBIs are diagnosed

There are several important tests that doctors can perform before they diagnose a TBI. They will rank the patient’s symptoms, including the length of loss of consciousness, memory, and where they fall on the Glasgow Coma Scale. The Glasgow Coma Scale measure’s a patient’s ability to speak, move, and open their eyes. Doctors can then determine if the brain injury is mild, moderate, or severe.

Mild brain injuries

In less severe cases, TBIs can be classified as mild. If an individual loses consciousness for less than 30 minutes, it may be considered to be mild to moderate. Doctors will typically perform a CAT scan or an MRI to assess the extent of the immediate damage to the brain. However, even a mild diagnosis can leave long lasting negative impacts that are physical, emotional and mental.

Long term effects

The long term effects of traumatic brain injuries can last for the rest of an individual’s life. They can have a serious impact on their quality of life and their ability to function normally. These effects can include:

·         Headaches

·         Confusion/disorientation

·         Short and long term memory loss

·         Irritability, mood swings, and angry outbursts

·         Partial paralysis

·         Seizures

·         Increased risk of stroke

The severity of these dramatic changes can have a devastating impact on a person. They can struggle in their personal and professional lives. They may find it difficult to maintain a normal lifestyle, hold a job, and continue to have typical social interactions. It can leave them feeling frustrated and lonely.

It isn’t only the injured individual who suffers the effects of a traumatic brain injury. Their families and friends often struggle with the long term complications, as well. It can be difficult to handle the changes in personality, as well as the necessary lifestyle changes that some TBI sufferers face. Many TBI sufferers and their loved ones simply have to take recovery day by day, and recognize that the symptoms and various changes may be permanent.

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact the traumatic brain injury attorneys at the Massachusetts offices of Mazow | McCullough, PC, today at (800) 693-9074. A TBI can have lifelong repercussions, and it is important to seek the root cause of the injury as soon as possible. Mazow | McCullough, PC’s experience in handling these sensitive and difficult cases has led to substantial recoveries for our clients. We have the knowledge to prove the effects of a TBI and to show the cause of the injury was related to the negligence of another.

 

 

 

 

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