When someone sustains a traumatic brain injury (TBI), the survivor isn’t the only one affected—the family of the survivor is also impacted. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, families often don’t realize just how stressful it can be to deal with a loved one with a TBI.
What Families Should Know Immediately After a Brain Injury
During the immediate aftermath of a brain injury, it can be overwhelming and confusing for families to watch their loved ones being treated with life-saving equipment in emergency rooms or intensive care units of hospitals. Because of this, many families freeze up and are filled with anxiety, fear, and sadness. Although these are common feelings for families of brain injury survivors to experience, it can be helpful to know what to do during this trying time. Some things you can do include:
- Read up on TBIs
- Keep track of questions
- Get daily updates from the nurses and doctors
- Record the names of all the physicians who treat your loved one
- Collect medical bills and keep track of out-of-pocket expenses
- Make a plan for taking care of the survivor’s small children and pets
What to Expect in the Days and Months Ahead
Whether you are taking care of your injured family member full-time or living with a TBI survivor with hired help, it is important to know about the changes you can expect, such as:
- Personality changes. Someone who might have been positive may now be depressed and negative. Additionally, a leader may now become a follower. Sadly, there are many ways in which someone’s personality can change following a brain injury.
- Behavioral problems. Some people with brain injuries are angry and aggressive when they never used to. They may behave unpredictably and have frequent mood swings. Additionally, they may suffer from panic attacks, anxiety, and stress.
- Communication challenges. Many people with severe brain injuries have difficulty understanding others, expressing their thoughts, or even being able to spell, write, and read. Sadly, some brain injury survivors will never be able to communicate the way they used to.
- Relationship changes. Marriages and parent-child relationships can change drastically when someone suffers a serious brain injury. This is because the brain injury survivor often feels misunderstood and has a hard time relating to others.
Living Life With a Brain Injury Survivor
Although you are aware of the changes that have occurred to your loved one months after a brain injury, you might be unaware of how these changes are impacting you. This is why it is very important to do the following things for yourself:
- See a counselor. Your mental health is critical to your own well-being and to being able to help your family member with his or her rehabilitation. Seeing a counselor or being involved in a support group will provide you with an outlet where you can talk about your concerns, vent, and get help.
- Take care of yourself. This includes getting enough sleep, eating properly, and getting exercise. By doing these things, you will be in a much better physical and mental place to deal with and help take care of your loved one.
- Invest in your emotional well-being. Make time to do some of the things you love, such as gardening, yoga, or another hobby. If you deny yourself time for activities and hobbies that are meaningful to you, you can harm your emotional health and start becoming resentful.
There is no denying that a traumatic brain injury can cause you and the rest of your family a whirlwind of changes. Because of this, families need to make sure they get the best legal help possible in order to get the best financial recovery possible. Please call us at (703) 591-0067 for a free consultation today. We can help you and your family recover the money you deserve.