When someone has a traumatic brain injury, they may eventually recover, but it can take time, effort, and often money. That’s why you’ll see that after some accidents that cause brain injuries, a personal injury lawsuit is filed.
For example, if someone is in a motorcycle accident and sustains a brain injury, the party responsible for the accident may be sued, or at least their insurance company is.
Then, when you recover damages, it can help pay for things like medical treatment and rehabilitation.
Beyond the money need to care for someone with a brain injury, what else should you know if you’re in a position of being a caretaker?
Understanding a Traumatic Brain Injury
A big part of caring for someone with a traumatic brain injury, regardless of how severe it is, is to learn more about the impact of these injuries.
A traumatic brain injury tends to result from a jolt to the body or head or a blow.
A traumatic brain injury can be mild, moderate, or severe.
With a mild TBI, a person may recover on their own with just rest.
With a moderate-to-severe brain injury, it can be a longer process. Depending on how severe it is, some people won’t fully recover but can relearn to function in their daily life similar to the way they did before their injury.
When you are helping someone with a brain injury, you have to be careful about communicating with them.
Don’t take their setbacks as laziness.
Learn to recognize the invisible signs of a problem such as depression or anxiety.
Even if the person with an injury is feeling impatient, try to stay patient yourself.
For more severe brain injuries, one of the most important parts of caring for your loved one is helping them in their journey to relearn even simple everyday tasks.
Your loved one may work with an occupational therapist or other specialists to help your loved one with this.
Even after your loved one’s actual rehab ends, you will probably help supervise them until they are at a point where they can independently make decisions.
Of all the things you’ll need to have available to help someone with a brain injury, perhaps the most important but also most challenging is patience.
You will be answering a lot of questions over and over again.
Depending on the specifics of the brain injury, your loved one might not remember things from one minute to the next. They may also get confused by things that were once simple and they may get mad at themselves if they can’t do something they once could.
As a caregiver, you will be going with your loved one to many different appointments during their recovery.
A great deal of information will be given during these appointments, including instructions.
Keep notes of everything.
This is important to provide the best possible care and follow the medical provider’s advice. It is also important if there is an ongoing personal injury lawsuit. You will need these records.
What If Someone Has a Mild Brain Injury?
If someone has a mild brain injury, the following are tips to keep in mind to care for them:
- Encourage and promote rest. The best thing someone can do as they heal from a brain injury is to rest. Rest helps your brain and body recover and heal itself. The more you can do to help the person with the injury, the better.
- Think preventatively as well. Make sure your loved one isn’t in a position where another injury could occur. For example, if you’re helping someone with a mild head injury stemming from playing a sport, they should take a substantial break from that sport.
- Before your loved one resumes any of their normal activities, they should first get the green light from their doctor. This can include even seemingly simple activities like driving.
- When someone is recovering from a brain injury of any kind, they should avoid smoking and alcohol use. That can slow or stop their recovery progress, and it can further damage their brain.
Finally, when you are a caretaker for someone with a brain injury, care for yourself as well.
It can be extremely tiring, frustrating, and thankless to be a caregiver. Self-care will allow you to keep providing the best possible care for the other person.
You are going to be emotionally and physically exhausted, so be kind to yourself.