Caring for a loved one with serious traumatic brain injury can be extremely challenging and stressful. Depending on the nature and severity of the head injury, you may find that your loved one needs assistance with routine daily activities such as feeding themselves, using the restroom, changing clothes or bathing. In many cases where someone has suffered a traumatic brain injury, home care happens only after extended hospital stays and additional treatment at rehabilitation facilities.
In the immediate aftermath of a traumatic brain injury, some of the common emotions that prevail are grief, fear and concern. Family members and friends offer support and assistance. They might deliver hot meals to your home or offer to pick up your children from school. However, these types of support services might simply not be there after your hospital stay and when you return home.
Life can become rather lonely and difficult. Here are a few tips to help individuals care for those with traumatic brain injuries:
- Try to be honest with everyone. It is important that you are straight with doctors, family members, and your loved one with TBI regarding your own needs, concerns and feelings. There is no need to feel ashamed about your thoughts or feelings. If you believe that your thoughts or emotions are hampering your ability to care for your loved one, it is important that you seek counsel and guidance from someone you trust such as a therapist, close friend or spiritual leader.
- Understanding is crucial. It is important that you work to understand what your loved one is going through. This is not something that comes overnight. Rather, it is a process of growth and development that occurs over a period or time.
- Acknowledge your limitations. There may be physical, emotional and financial limitations as you try to care for a loved one with traumatic brain injuries. Acknowledge these limitations. These boundaries allow you and your family to adapt to and set a new normal that works for everyone.
- Utilize all available resources. It is very difficult to do this all on your own. Take advantage of clinicians, your contacts, and your local Brain Injury Association. There may be a number of support groups in your area for families of those living with brain injuries. Maintaining contact with other caregivers can help answer questions or address concerns when they arise.
- Ask for help when you need it. Consider establishing a plan with a local respite care provider or tap into your network of family members and friends so you have someone to call when you need help. It is important to stay honest with yourself so you know when these moments arise.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be able to seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injury, disability and pain suffering. An experienced brain injury lawyer will be able to help you better understand your legal rights and options.