An individual who has experienced a traumatic brain injury will experience changes that will affect the outcome of not only his or her work life, but relationships as well. These changes may be behavioral, physical, and cognitive. Learning to adjust to these changes is the key to recovering from a traumatic brain injury.
Tips for the Patient
It may be difficult for some people to realize the activities that once came easily will now take practice and work. Because of this, an extremely independent patient may feel frustrated and defeated when they realize they need the help of others.
The best ways to manage the interruptions in focus and thinking that come with brain injury is to stay organized and prioritize. Patients should keep lists of activities they want to do and make lists of tasks already done. Staying on a daily schedule will provide consistency and predictability that is important when recovering from a brain injury.
Patients will struggle with some tasks that once were simple. Although help should be made available to patients, they must also try to complete tasks themselves to rebuild lost skills. Patients that are willing to try new things will have an easier time with recovery.
Goal setting should be used, setting reasonable goals for the patient’s level of ability. Goals can be adjusted as the patient regains skills. Patients should be careful not to use alcohol or illicit drugs under any circumstances or risk facing major setbacks to recovery.
Tips for Family and Friends
Caregivers should focus on making the recovery process a little easier. They must understand that healing is slow and will take time. Results and recovery will not happen overnight. In addition, patients will experience many setbacks and much frustration. Caregivers must take care to offer encouragement and support, even when it feels uncomfortable. They should guide patients to start with simple tasks and complete them before moving to tasks that are more difficult.
Often, a determined patient will want to jump ahead and try something hard to prove he or she can do it. If the patient asks for help, caregivers should stand by ready but encourage patients to try it alone first. The healing process will change often, requiring adjustment and adaptation. One skill may return only to be lost again later.
Those caring for patients with traumatic brain injury should work to help with the bills and paperwork that come along as a result of the injury. Because a brain-injured person cannot always make good judgments, those close to them need to look out for their best interests.
If you or a loved one is recovering from a traumatic brain injury and you would like more information, contact our office. Our caring attorneys will provide you with a free consultation and answer any questions you may have about the recovery process.