Top 10 Things Caregiver’s Need to Know

1) You, the caregiver, matter.  It is most important that the caregiver takes care of his or herself.  In doing so, one is better fit to help their loved ones with the support that they need.

2) The recovery process is different for every individual with a brain injury.  Recovery takes time from months to even years. Rehabilitation services are beneficial to your loved one if they are accessible.

3) It has been determined that caregivers of those who have suffered a brain injury may be more emotional with feelings of burden, anxiety, anger, and depression.  It is normal to feel this way and very vital for caregivers to recognize how stressful this situation can be and to explore the support services available to them.

4) Setbacks are common with patients suffering from TBIs and do not always represent a reversal in the achievements the individual has made.  These loved ones will have good days and bad, both surrounding their brain injury.

5) There might be some new cognitive challenges your loved one now has to deal with.  Some common symptoms might be shortened attention spans, some memory problems like not remembering something you’ve explained or a past memory you shared with them, and they sometimes have difficulty learning new things.

6) Physical changes can sometimes occur.  Some of these might include sensitivity to sounds or light, sleep problems, speech difficulties, and maybe even some muscle coordination problems.

7) Personality and behavioral changes are common in people suffering from brain injury as well.  It might be harder for them to empathize with others or they might tend to be more self-centered.  Mood swings and difficulty with some social skills that used to come easy are also common side effects.

8) Rehabilitation helps to make your love one learn how to be as independent as possible.  It helps to implement new ways of doing their previously known abilities if they have been lost or are now harder.

9) After the medical and rehabilitative process has come to an end, it does not mean that your family member or loved one will continue life the way they could before.  With good support systems, many return to enjoying a typical life filled of all of the same dreams as before. With more severe injuries, sometimes the life they had before is forever changed and family members must make adjustments.

10) Sometimes patience is the best thing you can provide.  Sleeping more or needing more time to think about something is completely normal and taking some time to adjust is very healthy.  Even though wanting to help in every way possible is how you feel, sometimes the best thing for your loved one is to provide the support and patience they need.