When 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.
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.
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.