Supporting a Loved One With TBI: Tips for Caregivers

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The best support system for people with traumatic brain injuries is provided by their caregivers. These caregivers are typically family members, close friends, homecare professionals, or any combination of these people.

Caregiving is one of the most important roles in helping people recover from traumatic brain injuries. The support and encouragement provided on a daily basis are essential for recovery and also ensure patients stay compliant with their treatment plans.

Unfortunately, according to the Centers for Disease Control, caregiving often takes a serious toll on the giver. Staying positive, being emotionally strong, and sometimes taking on verbal and even physical abuse from the patient is exhausting.

Having to care for your loved one while seeing them suffer through pain and depression is draining, and having to watch their struggles and the change in their daily lives is beyond difficult. Thankfully, there is support for caregivers as well through support groups and family and friends.

Two parents smiling and embracing their daughter in a hospital bed while she is attached to an IV and EKG machine.

Tips For Caregivers

  • When giving instructions to your loved one, be mindful to only ask for one thing at a time, as people with brain injuries have trouble multitasking.
  • Use calendars and make lists to help them remember events. The detail involved will depend on the severity of the person’s difficulty with memory. For example, some people will need a reminder about an appointment at three. Other people will need additional details, such as telling them to put on their shoes, bring their wallets, and comb their hair.
  • Routines are highly beneficial for people with brain injuries. They will know what to expect, and important tasks are less likely to be forgotten when following a schedule. Most important tasks should be completed in the morning as the injured person typically loses energy throughout the day.
  • Always remember that both the patient and the caregiver will have good days and bad days. It is important to take breaks to keep from feeling overwhelmed. Emotions and physical stress are often unpredictable and are affected by a multitude of factors.
  • Accept help and use your resources before you begin to feel burned out. The process of recovery is sometimes more difficult for the caregiver than it is for the patient. Remember to take breaks and accept help from other family members and friends. You do not have to do it all.
  • Join a support group for caregivers. Talking to people in similar situations is very therapeutic. Confiding your feelings with someone who understands will help you feel validated in your emotions and give you the strength to keep going; even when you feel like you are not making a difference, you are making the biggest impact on your family member’s life and recovery.
  • Attend the patient’s medical appointments and provide the doctor with details about any progress and challenges. Many people find it difficult to discuss these issues, but not mentioning a problem will hinder the recovery process. Also, take note of recommendations or changes in the treatment plan, as people with brain injuries tend to forget or have difficulty understanding. They need you with them.
  • Take care of yourself. Self-care is extremely important for caregivers but is often overlooked. Do what you need to do to stay healthy and to keep motivated. Your family member needs you, even if they do not want to admit it.
  • Get plenty of rest, and remember that you are not alone.

Best Traumatic Brain Injury Care Facilities in North Carolina

There are several care facilities in and around Raleigh, North Carolina, for patients with traumatic brain injuries.

  • STEPS for Recovery
  • Brain Injury Association of North Carolina
  • WakeMed Raleigh Campus
  • Rex Hospital
  • Duke Health Raleigh Hospital
  • Sunnybrook Rehabilitation Center
  • Precision Brain Center

These facilities are just a few of many throughout the area. Your doctor will be able to recommend the best treatment facility for your specific needs and insurance requirements.

Brain injuries are often life-changing. They are also complex injuries that affect people differently.

Therefore, personalized treatment plans are formulated for your individual needs. What worked for someone else may not work for you, so try not to get frustrated if you do not see the same results as people around you.

It is best not to compare yourself with others. Your recovery journey is your own, and only you can know how it feels.

The best treatment facility for you is a place that will make you feel safe and supported. They should offer you the following:

  • Support groups for you and your family
  • Peer mentoring, you should have the opportunity to connect with other people who have survived similar injuries, and your family should connect with other caregivers for support
  • Ongoing care, your treatment should start either in the hospital or right after you are discharged and should continue as long as you need it
  • Home modifications, the treatment facility should also assess your injuries and your home for any necessary modifications to make your home life safe. These modifications may include items such as wheelchair ramps or safety rails in the bathrooms.
  • Most importantly, the treatment facility should offer you individualized care, and they should be willing to adapt their approach for your benefit.

Examples of Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injuries

There are many different types of treatments and techniques for rehabilitation after a brain injury. Depending on your injury and symptoms, your unique plan may include some of the following examples.

Behavioral Management and Neurobehavioral Program

Many brain injuries have the potential to cause behavioral disorders, including personality changes and difficulty with impulse control. Treatment for these symptoms often involves a quiet space that provides a low-stimulation environment.

Avoiding triggers such as loud noises and bright lights helps to decrease distractions. Caregivers and family members should also be involved and taught techniques for managing behavioral changes.

Aquatic Therapy

Water is an amazing tool when it comes to healing the body. Knowledgeable aquatic therapists will guide patients in techniques to regain mobility and strength by utilizing weight training as well as gait training while in a heated pool.

Being submerged in water provides a safe environment for movement with the assistance of buoyancy while improving strength by providing resistance to movement as well. Pain management strategies are also taught in this setting.

Robot Assisted Gait Training

Your gait is how you walk or take your steps. Your gait may have been significantly altered by your injury, or you may need this therapy as a part of your recovery from paralysis.

Not all facilities will have robotic machines to assist you, but they will all have equipment that will help you move safely. You should be able to move effectively so that your balance, strength, and mobility are improved.

Wheelchair Seating Clinic

Physical therapists and mobility specialists should be available to assist you if your injury has caused you to require a wheelchair. They will help you select the appropriate chair for your needs and abilities.

They will ensure the correct controls, cushioning, and support are provided to optimize your mobility and comfort while using the wheelchair. They will also help work with your insurance company and advocate on your behalf to see that your needs are met through proper equipment.

Emerging Response Program

Severe traumatic brain injuries can leave patients in a minimally conscious condition. An emerging response program uses advanced therapies to assist patients in becoming more aware and engaged in their surroundings.

Patients should begin to understand and engage in purposeful activities and movements. This type of rehabilitation from brain injuries is a team effort that includes doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers, and case managers specializing in brain injury rehabilitation.

Community Fitness Center

Many people recovering from brain injuries want to continue to exercise to build and maintain strength after their rehabilitation is complete. They may not yet feel comfortable joining a mainstream gym, so some treatment facilities offer the option of having continued access to their specialized equipment for a small fee.

This is a very beneficial option for those who have finished their treatment plans as well as for the individuals still receiving treatment. They have the opportunity to motivate and inspire each other while continuing to work towards improving their health.

How Can a Brain Injury Lawyer Help With My Treatment?

An experienced brain injury lawyer is most helpful in dealing with insurance companies for you. The lawyers at Tatum & Atkinson will ensure that your claim is complete and filed correctly to maximize your likelihood of approval.

If you have already been denied, there is still hope for your case. Our lawyers will file an appeal and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf for your claims.

We will also fight for you if your insurance company stops paying for your necessary treatments.

Tatum & Atkinson Are Ready To Fight For Your Wellbeing

Treatment is crucial for recovering from traumatic brain injuries. Unfortunately, specialized medical treatments are astronomically expensive in the United States, especially if the insurance company stops paying or refuses to pay.

Do not give up hope for yourself or your injured loved one. Contact the attorneys at Tatum & Atkinson: The Heavy Hitters at (800) LAW-0804 for a free consultation to discuss your case.

We will explore your options for possibly negotiating with the insurance companies or seeking compensation for your injuries from a guilty party. Whatever the case may be in your unique situation, we will find a solution if there is one to be found.