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When a loved one has traumatic brain injury: Tips for caregivers

Your loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and it feels as if your whole world has been turned upside-down. Both of your lives have changed dramatically. In addition to mounting medical bills, late-night hospital visits and an overload of information about TBI, you are worried about your new role as a caregiver.

Caregivers are often overlooked, but they play a crucial role in the life of someone with TBI. Sometimes, being a caregiver can feel overwhelming, especially when you are new to it.

Tips for caregivers

It can be difficult for new caregivers to adjust to their role. It is difficult to see someone you care about in so much pain, and it is difficult to provide adequate support in their time of need. These are a few helpful tips for caregivers.

1. Do your research

Caregivers are a crucial advocate for their charges. Research the injury, its symptoms and its prognosis. This can help a lot during doctors’ appointments and when you discuss the injury with your loved one and family. Understanding traumatic brain injury can also help you advocate for your loved one’s needs.

2. Experience your emotions

When someone suffers a traumatic brain injury, you will go through a wide range of emotions. These can include fear, guilt, anger and depression. It is normal and healthy to experience these emotions. Don’t be tempted to push them aside or bury them. Allow yourself to feel them, and cope by writing in a journal, talking to a friend or seeking a counselor.

3. Take time for yourself

Stress is a constant in many caregivers’ lives. Being loaded with responsibilities related to your loved one’s TBI in addition to your own workload and chores can be overwhelming. To avoid burnout, try to take some time to destress. Take a daytrip, relax in a bath or watch a favorite movie.

When a loved one has TBI

It is never easy for the families and friends of TBI patients. People must come together for their loved one. Caregiving is one important way to help. Another is to consider your loved one’s legal options. If their injury is the result of negligence or recklessness, they may be entitled to compensation for their damages. TBI patients are sometimes too overwhelmed with medical treatment or are too incapacitated to contact an attorney. Sometimes, it is up to caretakers to seek legal recourse.

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