There are many ways a person can be affected with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The most common causes are car accidents, being shot with a firearm and falling. A TBI can result in cognitive problems such as headache, difficulty thinking, memory problems, attention deficits, mood swings and frustration. Some 1.5 million people in the U.S.
suffer from TBI and over 50,000 die from it each year. And while brain injuries can be hard on the sufferer, they can also be hard on those living with the sufferer.
If you live with someone with a brain injury, what are some of the things you can do to make all of your daily lives a little easier?
Make a Schedule
One of the major hallmarks of brain injuries is memory loss. Many people who live with someone who has a brain injury find it helpful to not only keep to a schedule and write it all down, but these days there are even calendar apps that you and the person with the TBI can access on smart phones, tablets and computers. White boards and chalk boards can also be helpful, something that can be wiped and redone each morning.
Make Labels for Everything They Use
Oftentimes those with brain injuries can forget where things are located around the house. Label everything that is in drawers and on shelves and even in the refrigerator. Also try to keep thing they use every day in the same place, whether it be their keys or something they like to eat. Steps like these can go a long way toward eliminating a lot of unnecessary searching, something that can be very frustrating to someone with TBI.
Continuing from above, eliminating unnecessary steps and keeping things as simple as possible can be very beneficial to those with brain injuries and those who live with them. The less they need to remember, the better, as it allows them to maintain a good mood and have more time to complete other tasks.
Regulate and Manage Medications
Make sure the medication of someone with a brain injury is managed closely and regulated, whether that means labels on bottles and pill sorters or keeping all meds in a safe so you can give them out at the right times and in the right amounts.
Above all else, be patient with someone with a brain injury. They are likely not the same person they used to be and this can take some getting used to. There will be many frustrating times during the day, but if you take some deep breathes and re-focus, you can get through a lot of them.