5 Ways To Help A Loved One Cope With A Brain Injury

Friends and family members can help a loved one with a brain injury through providing structure, support and care.

Every year, millions of people in Oklahoma and across the country suffer a brain injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 2.2 million trips to the emergency room in 2010 due to a traumatic brain injury.

The recovery process can vary greatly depending on the nature of the injury. People who want to help their loved ones cope can try the following tips:

1. Get educated

One of the most important tasks is to understand the brain injury and how it is specifically affecting the victim. As the CDC points out, someone could experience the following:

  • Memory issues and trouble thinking clearly
  • Irritability, sadness and even depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sensitivity to light and loud noises
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep issues

There may also be physical symptoms, especially in the immediate aftermath of the injury. Headaches, nausea, vomiting and dizziness are all common. Once someone understands what the victim is feeling, he or she is better suited to help.

2. Household chores

The Brain Injury Association of America notes that in the days and perhaps weeks after the incident, a victim may need help with work around the house, especially if he or she is hospitalized. Mowing the lawn, doing laundry or taking care of children and pets are just a few items loved ones can do. If the injury occurred due to a motor vehicle accident, there may be insurance claims and car repair work that should be addressed.

3. Simplify everyday activities

Someone returning home after a brain injury may need help adjusting. People who are having memory issues could benefit from simplicity around the house. For example, loved ones could label cabinets and drawers with the contents so the injured will easily be able to find items. There may also be physical limitations regarding what the injured person can do. Therefore, it may be necessary to rearrange or reorganize the home to adapt it to match the person's capabilities.

4. Help develop a routine

Someone who suffers a brain injury may have trouble organizing his or her day. Friends or family can help by developing a routine for the person. Set up tasks or activities that will be completed at a certain time, keeping the day-to-day plan as consistent as possible. Post the routine somewhere in the home where the person can see it.

5. Look for signs of trouble

Lastly, one of the most important things a caregiver can do is to ensure that the victim is recovering as he or she should. If there are any behavioral changes, such as seizures, signs of depression or hallucinations, it is imperative to contact a physician immediately. Keeping a doctor apprised of any alarming activity can prevent major problems from occurring.

A brain injury can lead to serious physical side effects and large medical bills. Anyone with questions regarding holding negligent parties responsible for an injury should speak with an attorney in Oklahoma.