The occurrence of a traumatic brain injury is life-changing. Depending on the part of the brain that is injured, your loved one could come out of the hospital a very different person than they were when they went into treatment.
It’s vital that you arm yourself with a bit of knowledge prior to your loved one’s arrival home from the hospital. It can be very difficult to move forward after a brain injury without the tools to succeed. Here is a brief look into some of the most effective ways to support your loved one after a traumatic brain injury (or TBI).
Patience and empathy
A brain injury can affect the core of a person, and rehabilitation can be a long, troublesome road. If your loved one injured their frontal lobe, it is likely they will be a very different person when they return. The frontal lobe of the brain plays a key part in forming an individual’s personality.
Also, practice empathy for your loved one. Validate their aches and pains, because TBIs often come hand in hand with severe bouts of pain. Allow your loved one to talk about all of the turmoil they are experiencing, and ride it out alongside them.
Understanding the possible symptoms
It may be a bit easier to cope with the changes ahead if you are familiar with the possibilities. Those who suffer from traumatic brain injuries can experience extreme mood swings, unexplained bouts with anger, severe migraines, confusion, seizures, and many other uncomfortable situations.
Know that the road ahead will not be paved with rose petals, and your loved one will need a lot of support. Recovery from a TBI can take months or even years to reach its apex.
Rehabilitation is the goal
It’s going to be way easier said than done, but mark it in your mind that the journey is about rehabilitation. You’re probably not ever going to reach the same definition of normalcy as you had before the injury, so learn to redefine your expectation of “normal.”
Help your loved one get organized
Organization is a vital coping skill for those recovering from a traumatic brain injury. When their lives are more organized, there is more time to focus on recovery.
Label calendars with important events like doctor appointments and med schedules. Label cabinets and drawers to help your loved one rebuild their cognizance of life.
Provide as much normalcy as possible
Your loved one has probably suffered some loss of memory. Providing as much of a “normal” environment for your family member as possible is a comforting way to ease their mind back into the life they lived before the accident.