From concussions to disabling physical and mental effects, a New England traumatic brain injury can turn your life upside down. That is why it is so important for the victim of a TBI and his or her loved ones to learn as much as possible about coping with the effects of a brain injury.
Let’s begin with the victim of a TBI.
What can you do to help participate in and promote healing as you recover?
- Take care of yourself as much as you can. Get lots of rest and avoid any activity that could lead to another blow or jolt to the head.
- Follow doctor’s orders. Your doctor has planned a course of treatment and rehabilitation that is designed to help you achieve the best recovery possible. While you may get discouraged, you must push yourself to take your medications properly and attend and work hard at all rehabilitation appointments.
- Do not drink alcohol or ingest illegal substances.
- Learn coping techniques. Write down things you need to remember. Join a support group. Keep a routine and try to do things the same way each time. Stay focused and avoid distractions.
What about the caregivers of a TBI victim?
As a caregiver, you need to understand the importance of your role. You should:
- Realize that the whole family is affected by your loved one’s injuries. Be sure each family member is given the same chance to learn about and deal with the situation.
- Understand the stresses of the caregiver. You need to recognize and accept the fact that taking care of someone with a severe TBI can cause you to feel anxious, angry, and even depressed. These feelings are normal, and a support group might be a good idea if you are feeling stressed out.
- Get relief from full-time care. No company asks its employees to work 24-hour shifts, seven days a week, and you can’t do this either. You must be willing to ask family, friends, and community members to help give you some relief. Home health aides and day care programs are also options to consider.
- Take care of yourself. Try to get plenty of sleep, eat well, exercise, and talk to others about what you are going through. Don’t try to go it alone.
- Be patient. Keep in mind that your loved one may not be able to control the situation. Because there are so many possible physical and emotional issues inherent in a TBI, you can’t take possible outbursts, anger, or other negative issues personally. Most patients with a TBI, especially early on, can’t control these things.
No two brain injury cases are alike, but they do have this in common: Life will change, and coping will become necessary. If you or a loved one has experienced a TBI, and going back to work is not an option, you can relieve some of the stress by consulting a New England SSA disability specialist to see if you qualify for benefits.
At Keefe Disability Law, in the Boston area, we have helped many clients successfully apply for Social Security disability benefits in New England. We serve the residents of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Give us a call today.