Although a lot of people are fortunate to escape a car accident with nothing more than some bumps and bruises, others face catastrophic injuries that reshape the way that they live their lives. Traumatic brain injury sufferers know this reality all too well. For these individuals, merely performing day-to-day activities can be challenging, if not impossible, and the psychological weight of knowing that they may never recover what was once their normal life can be debilitating.
Making matters worse is the fact that treating traumatic brain injuries can be enormously costly. Insurance caps oftentimes limit support, and the victim is usually unable to work to help offset expenses. As a result, a traumatic brain injury victim is often left feeling completely overwhelmed and hopeless.
How you can help support a loved one who has suffered a traumatic brain injury
If your loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, then you probably have an understanding about the challenges these victims face. But you, too, might feel hopeless, wishing that you could help but not knowing how. There are things that you can do to support your loved one. Here are some of them:
- Practice patience: You’re probably going to face a lot of frustration as you help your loved one in their traumatic brain injury recovery. You might feel like you have to repeat yourself multiple times and you might become impatient at your loved one’s inability to complete simple tasks. But keep in mind that your loved one is probably just as frustrated, if not more so. It may be helpful to educate yourself about your loved one’s brain injury so that you have a full understanding of his or her limitations and better know what to expect from the recovery process.
- Validate your loved one’s feelings: As your loved one progresses through his or her recovery, there may be times that you feel like their emotional response or their lack of energy isn’t justified. Oftentimes this is viewed as the brain injury sufferer lacking motivation. But the injury itself and the recovery process is trying. So, be as understanding as possible and recognize that your loved one’s feelings, whatever they are, are warranted and need to be handled properly.
- Help establish a routine: Routine is powerful. It can reduce stress and help your loved one focus on a few daily tasks that he or she can master, which will increase motivation and satisfaction. Help your loved one think through what his or her daily routine could look like.
- Give positive reinforcement: Accomplishing even the smallest of tasks can be a big accomplishment for a traumatic brain injury sufferer. Providing positive feedback to your loved one can help them feel supported and motivate them to continue their efforts toward a fuller recovery.
- Stick with it: Working with a traumatic brain injury sufferer can be emotionally and physically exhausting. But even when you don’t feel like it, know that you’re making a difference in your loved one’s life. With that in mind, even when things get hard, don’t give up assisting your loved one with his or her recovery.
Helping your loved one find legal support
There are all kinds of help out there for you and your loved one. Support groups, mental health professionals, and medical providers who are experts in traumatic brain injury can all be helpful. But so, too, can a legal professional, especially if your loved one’s injury was caused by someone else’s negligence.