Support for Caregivers of Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury

Support for Caregivers of Individuals with Traumatic Brain InjuryMany people only think about the challenges that the individual with a traumatic brain injury is going through. While these challenges are usually very hard to cope with, the people caring for these individuals, also known as caregivers, go through hardships and challenges as well. Regardless of if it is your spouse, child, parent, or another family member, it is never an easy task to care for someone going through this difficult time in their life.

Self-care strategies for caregivers

When caring for a loved one, there are some self-care strategies that you should try to remember, which include:

  • Ensure that you have proper time to relax and sleep.
  • Always eat meals at a decent time and make sure they are healthy, balanced options.
  • Do your stretches and go for walks to enjoy fresh air and reduce any soreness.
  • Listen to your family member’s doctor for advice and recommendations. Take notes if need be.
  • If you feel like you need help taking care of your loved one or simply need a break for a couple hours, do not hesitate to ask a friend, neighbor, or other family member to step in for you.
  • Consider visiting a counselor to talk about your feelings.
  • Do not forget about your other family members, such as your children or spouse.

Resources for caregivers assisting loved ones with TBIs in Memphis, TN

There are several different support resources that caregivers who live in Memphis, TN, can use, such as:

What is a traumatic brain injury?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a traumatic brain injury as “an injury that affects how the brain works.” Traumatic brain injuries are very serious and even life-threatening, as many people become disabled or die from these types of injuries each year in the United States. Close to 200 people died from traumatic brain injuries in America in 2021, and over 200,000 were hospitalized with these types of injuries in 2019. If you suspect that you may have a traumatic brain injury after injuring your head, it is crucial that you seek medical treatment as quickly as possible and look out for the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Feeling drowsy or tired
  • Speech issues
  • Feeling nauseous or vomiting
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Strange taste in your mouth
  • Sensitivity to sounds and lights
  • Focus or concentration issues
  • Memory problems
  • Feeling depressed, moody, anxious, or nervous
  • Sleep pattern changes

What is the role of a caregiver for individuals with traumatic brain injuries?

If a close family member is diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, you may be elected as their primary caregiver. This means that you are responsible for ensuring that they are recovering and healing from their injury as well as following the doctor’s orders. Most of the time, the individual will need to rest, relax, take it easy, and slowly get back to their daily routine. Therefore, you will most likely be helping them get dressed, shower, eat, and carry out their daily obligations until they make a full recovery.

If your loved one suffers a severe traumatic brain injury, they may have undergone surgery or are taking prescription medications. This may require you to develop a plan to help them get back into the swing of things once they come home from the hospital. They will need your support and guidance during this tough time. Therefore, you will be their shoulder to lean on, making sure their days are as easy and stress-free as possible.

As a caregiver, you will also likely need to accompany your family member to and from their doctor appointments. This will help you know and understand how their recovery is going as well as what the doctor thinks is best for them. A traumatic brain injury makes it difficult for individuals to pay attention, retain, and understand information. You should listen carefully to know what the doctor recommends as well as ask any questions regarding medications, exercises, activities, and more.

The challenges faced by caregivers of individuals with traumatic brain injuries

There are many different challenges caregivers of individuals with traumatic brain injuries face every day, such as:

  • Feeling tired, stressed, frustrated, worried, or overwhelmed: When caring for a person with a traumatic brain injury, it is common to feel tired, stressed, frustrated, worried, or even overwhelmed. It is a wonderful thing that you are doing for your loved one, but it is also understandable that sometimes you are tired, and sometimes you are worried about their recovery. Feeling frustrated and stressed about how long the recovery process is taking is also normal, and you are not alone.
  • Burnout: Most people only think of burnout when it comes to regular jobs or careers. However, burnout is something that many caregivers feel when they are helping their family members. Burnout can lead to irritability, feeling hopeless, impatience, and even illnesses. If you feel burnt out, you may want to ask for help from another family member that you trust for a day or even a few hours to give yourself a break.
  • Neglecting your own needs: When an individual takes on the role of a caregiver, they usually put their own needs last. This happens because they are only focused and concentrated on their loved one and their recovery. They forget to feed themselves, bathe themselves, or even participate in activities they enjoyed before they took on this role.
  • Financial issues: Individuals who are caregivers may not have time to work and earn a living anymore. In addition, their family member’s medical bills continue to pile up, causing their savings to diminish. This can cause stability issues for the entire family.
  • Feeling lonely, depressed, or isolated: When taking care of your loved one, you will most likely only be able to focus on them. This means that you will often feel lonely, depressed, and isolated because you will not have much of a social life anymore.
  • Physical challenges: Not only does being a caregiver take an emotional and mental toll on you, but it can also cause several physical challenges. Depending on how severe your loved one’s traumatic brain injury is, you may need to constantly lift and move them. If they need help going to the restroom, showering, or getting dressed, this will require you to use your physical strength to pick them up from time to time, which can make you sore and exhausted.

If you or your family member suffer a brain injury because of another’s negligence, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your losses. An experienced Memphis, TN, personal injury lawyer from Bailey & Greer, PLLC will guide you through the complex legal system while also answering any of your questions, ensuring that you know and understand what is going on, and standing up for what you need during this difficult and challenging time. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a free consultation.