How to help a loved one after a traumatic brain injury in Virginia
There are a number of items that friends and family can do in order to help someone who has suffered a traumatic brain injury.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traumatic brain injuries are one of the most significant causes of disability in Virginia and across the country. Someone who suffers a TBI may experience a range of issues, including physical, emotional and psychological difficulties.
Watching a loved one suffer is not easy, but there are ways that friends and family can contribute to the recovery process. Knowing what to do – and what not to do – enables people to help in a meaningful way.
Understand what has happened
One of the most important ways that people surrounding a victim can help is to understand what has happened. A TBI can cause someone to start acting differently. The CDC points out that the following symptoms may manifest:
- The person may experience difficulty communicating emotions, wants or needs.
- The person could exhibit signs of depression, aggression, personality changes and anxiety.
- The person may have trouble with reasoning and memory.
Those close to the injured should speak with a physician to fully understand what the person may be likely to experience as a result of the injury.
Encourage participation in a support group
Traumatic brain injuries can create significant stress on the affected person. Therefore, experts urge those who are able to participate in a support group. The Brain Injury Association of Virginia points out that local support groups provide a forum for encouragement as well as enable a victim to learn from others who have had a similar experience.
Help around the house
Simple day-to-day tasks can be difficult for someone living with a brain injury. Remembering where dishes are located or when appointments will be can present a problem. The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc., notes that creating a daily schedule can help TBI patients address memory problems. Determining a specific place to keep important items, such as keys or a cell phone, can also be beneficial. A friend or family member could help the injured learn how to reduce clutter or other distractions around the house as well.
Saying the right things
Many people who have a brain injury may simply want company and conversation. Because this may be a sensitive time in their lives, they may be especially vulnerable to certain comments.
Brainline.org suggests avoiding making comments such as “At least you are alive” or “You don’t seem like you are injured.” What has happened is significant and it should be acknowledged in an honest manner. Instead, the right thing to say may simply be, “What can I do?” or “How can I help?”
If you have questions about your legal options after a brain injury, contact the knowledgeable personal injury lawyers at Crandall & Katt for a free initial consultation.