A brain injury is one of the most serious traumas that can occur. Part of what makes this kind of trauma so difficult and scary is that resulting symptoms can be so unpredictable. Common complications of brain injuries include seizures, speech difficulties, headaches, and memory loss. Brain trauma can even result in a change of personality or mental status. If a family member has a brain injury, it can be difficult to know how best to help.
As a knowledgeable brain injury lawyer can confirm, your efforts may be far more impactful than you can possibly know. Therefore, even when your efforts aren’t received in the ways you might expect, keep working to support your loved one. From exploring your legal options in order to secure compensation for medical care and lost wages to simply keeping your loved one company during times that their injury has left them feeling isolated, you can do a great deal to help.
Treat Your Loved One as Normally as Possible
Some people make the mistake of thinking that an injury to the brain causes a decline in a person’s intelligence. This is not true. Your loved one faces new challenges, but their intelligence level is the same. Therefore, while you may have to speak more slowly and clearly or repeat things more often, you should talk to him or her using a normal tone of voice rather than condescending to them. Isolation can exacerbate the problems that arise from a brain injury. Therefore, you should continue to involve your loved one in family activities and conversations to the extent possible.
Provide Structure and Organization
Because a traumatic brain injury can affect memory, structure and organization can help your loved one to compensate. Establish a consistent daily routine for your loved one and maintain it to the extent possible. Help your loved one become organized by making lists. To help your loved one remember where they can find things around the house, label drawers or cabinets with their contents. Whenever you do something for your loved one, explain what you are going to do first. If it is a multi-step activity, review each step as you perform it.
Don’t Make Comparisons with Another Injury
Just as no two people are exactly the same, no two brain injuries are identical either. Therefore, you cannot make fair comparisons between your loved one’s condition and that of another brain injury patient. Instead, just concentrate on your loved one’s treatment plan, which was formulated around their specific injury.
Stay Calm and Patient
It is challenging to help a loved one with a brain injury, and there may be times when you feel frustrated and judgmental. Try to keep things in perspective, however. Your loved one is going through a worse time and needs your support and love. Make time for your own self-care so you do not burn out.