Most physical injuries cause physical limitations. However, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can change a person’s personality and behavior. Recovery isn’t as simple as waiting for a bone to heal.
As brain injury specialists, our doctors at Coast Neurosurgical Associates, located in Long Beach, California, know that recovery from a TBI isn’t easy and often requires friend and family support. We’ve prepared a list of tips to help a loved one with a TBI.
Though every person’s TBI experience is unique, certain patterns and symptoms are common. Learning about the impacts of TBIs will help you understand the difficulties and unpredictable nature of these injuries.
Symptoms can fluctuate daily. A good day could come in the middle of a rough stretch, and it’s no predictor of healing. The more you understand about TBIs, the fewer surprises you’ll have about your loved one’s progress.
Head injuries can make people feel isolated. Support groups are an excellent resource, so encourage your loved one’s involvement. Consider attending a support group meeting to ease the transition for your loved one.
It’s a challenge when someone you’ve known for years suddenly displays personality characteristics you don’t recognize. Unusual behavior could be directed at you. While TBI symptoms remain active, keep a calm and level head. The nature of the injury can be frustrating, particularly when your loved one has no access to their usual coping mechanisms.
Memory and focus are impacted after a TBI. They might not be able to remember dates or appointments. They may misplace everyday items, and the additional frustration could overwhelm them.
Respectfully offer your assistance to help with what you can, such as keeping a calendar and reminding them of commitments or driving them to and from appointments. Offer to label drawers and cabinets temporarily to help them remember where things are and where they go.
When a TBI robs someone of things they count on, the presence of a familiar face helping in a non-judgemental way helps them on the road to recovery. Your attitude and interactions could be the first sense of normal life they recognize. Acceptance of their symptoms could help your loved one understand the healing process.
If your loved one is overwhelmed by a TBI, contact Coast Neurosurgical Associates so we can help. They can reach our office by phone or online. Your support is an essential part of recovery.