COPING WITH BRAIN INJURIES
The Do's and Don'ts of Brain Injury
The first few hours, days and weeks following a brain injury are an uncertain and difficult time for a patient’s loved ones.
Getting over the shock of the initial injury and learning everything you need to know about what will come next can be overwhelming. Because recovery from brain injury is unpredictable, it can be very frustrating. The medical world is sometimes fast-paced, and care happens around the clock. Right now, you need to do what you can to cope and to take care of yourself, hour by hour and then day by day.
And then stay connected with others who truly understand. Caregivers, well-meaning friends, the Internet, brain injury support groups, and families of other patients are all good sources of information.
The person undergone brain injury has altered brain wiring due to the injury. So the patient will require more than usual time to respond to any given stimulus. Be patient and give the patient his/her own time to respond. Be aware that at this level, it is normal for a person to respond incorrectly, slowly or not at all.
Don’t be afraid to laugh with your cares; it can do much to uplift your spirits and reduce depression.
The therapies and recovery time can be quite lengthy, and may be frustrating. Keep faith on the treatments that you are taking.
Decrease extra noises from television or music.
These sentences are easier for the person with the brain injury to comprehend.
To the day, place and situation. Many brain injuries lead to a loss of orientation. Always keep a clock and calendar in the room and point out day/date/time.
To decorate the room to increase involvement and familiarity
Most body repairs happen in the resting period. Therefore overcrowding visitors during the patient’s rest time should be avoided.
to write short notes instead of calling, as calling can frustrate the patient even more. Also, that way you’ll have something to read to your loved one.
If you look tired and stressed, the anxiety will pass on to the patient. Make sure you eat right and exercise to stretch your muscles.
by the number of tubes and wires you see hooked up to your loved one’s body. They all serve a purpose in delivering medication or monitoring the body functions so that doctors can be aware of even the slightest change.
yourself from understanding the medical abbreviations and treatment procedures. By understanding them you can give important information and history to the other therapists and doctors who may come to treat the patient.
yourself from asking doctors and therapists your doubts regarding treatment pathway.
to learn procedures that doctors/ therapists might ask you to do for the betterment of the patient.
with your loved one. Beware that some confusion and agitation is expected.
Because the patient has undergone a brain injury the brain is always irritated and in a state of confusion and agitation. So some amount of aggression and shouting is expected.
Be careful not to say anything upsetting within earshot.
Allow time to rest between your visits and maintain a calm tone of voice. Even though you are always ready to give maximum stimulation, the patient may not always be in a state to absorb it.
Always have at the back of your mind the respectable life they had before the incident of brain injury. Don’t take their respect away in the rush to help them. Ask the patient before taking decisions for him/her. If he/she gives you the consent to make decisions for them, only then go ahead.