A Time to Heal – How to help a loved one suffering from a traumatic brain injury

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Suffering from a Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is not only a distressing event but it can really slow the pace of life. Learning to ask for help from friends, loved ones and professionals is a big step in helping the healing process and can be daunting for really independent people. What can you do to help someone healing from a brain injury? We’ve got a few tips to help.

Open up the lines of communication. Start your conversation with, I’m sorry. How can I help? Don’t be surprised if they say no or take a while to accept. This is a big life change and they may not even know what kind of care they need yet or how long it will take to get back to a regular routine. The fact that you offered to help will show how much you care.

There are so many ways to support a loved one suffering.

A few examples would be:

1. Preparing meals. Your loved one may be suffering from a great deal of fatigue, headaches and cognitive problems. They may not have the ability to cook for themselves, or even go to a grocery store. Prepare a few meals that can be frozen so if they are tired or don’t feel like cooking they can just pull them out and heat them up fast. Drop off some fresh fruit or veggies, things that need to be replenished often.

2. Offer to clean their house or hire a company. Many brain injury patients suffer with vertigo, fatigue, and likely physical injuries. Simple tasks like taking out the garbage, doing laundry, and vacuuming can be daunting. Don’t judge the condition of their home, and don’t make them feel like they are doing a poor job of housekeeping, offer to help them with their housework or hire a service to help out.

3. Watch their kids or walk their pet. Being a parent with a TBI is overwhelming and exhausting. Knowing that their children or pet is in good hands will give them comfort and allow them to rest and recharge for a few hours. Rest is SO important in the recovery process.

4. Get them out of the house. Keep in mind finances could be tough as they may have had to take time off work or are getting a smaller renumeration. If that’s the case, pick an activity you can pay for or do something that is not expensive, like taking a walk or going to the park. Fresh air and exercise can be very helpful.. Remember, someone suffering from a TBI is also very sensitive to bright or flashing lights and crowded areas so try and plan outings that are not to stimulating.

These are just a few tips that can help, but you are the best judge of your loved one and can probably guess what kind of support they need. Dealing with a loved one who has a TBI can be tough, but keeping a positive attitude and staying empathetic can go a long way.

We offer a wide variety of services to help you or a loved one get back on the road to recovery and get back to a regular routine. Don’t hesitate to call on us to see how we can help.

~The team at Transitions Rehabilitation And Health Care