After a Traumatic Brain Injury: The Impact of Memory Problems

Victims of traumatic brain injury (TBI) often suffer from memory loss and a continued inability to store and retrieve memories. Depending on which areas of the brain have been affected, this deficit can impact a TBI sufferer in significant ways. Daily tasks can become overwhelming and continuing with school may be impossible.

Memory Loss: A Common Effect of a TBI

While it may not seem logical, brain injury survivors are more likely to remember events that occurred long ago  than new information and recent events. For example, a person with a TBI may remember everything about his or her childhood, but might not remember a conversation he or she had the previous day.

While some memories come back over time, many people living with TBI are not able to recall an entire conversation, event, or situation that took place before and after suffering head trauma. This makes life difficult for them and frustrating for their loved ones.

Although pre-injury memories are easier to retain, head injury survivors may still have some trouble recalling memories from certain periods of time. This is because brain injury survivors often suffer from amnesia related to a certain time. Although TBI survivors may suffer from some permanent long-term memory loss, the biggest challenge is accessing short-term memory because these are the memories we need to perform daily routines and to interact with others in a meaningful way.

How to Help Someone with Memory Problems

If your loved one is suffering from memory problems after a brain injury, there are some things you can do to help. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, the following strategies could be helpful:

  • Keep noise to a minimum to reduce stress and anxiety
  • Organize the home to have set locations for certain household items
  • Stick to routines for daily activities
  • Focus on one thing at a time
  • Use lists, calendars, cue cards and other memory aids
  • Repeat new information

By doing these things, frustration is decreased and anxiety is reduced. As a result, your injured loved one can focus and concentrate, helping his or her short-term memory. While these are great steps in helping improve your loved one’s memory, TBI victims must be under the regular care of doctors and mental health professionals. Make sure you are seeking help from the right professionals during this time. If you need legal help to pursue compensation for a brain injury on behalf of your loved one, call us today at (703) 591-0067 for a complimentary consultation.