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How can you help a family member suffering from a TBI?

If you have a family member who recently suffered a serious head trauma in Virginia, you may be just starting to realize how much your own life will change. Whether temporarily or long-term, you will be making adjustments for your loved one’s new needs and limits. Fortunately, the Brain Injury Association of America explains that there are many things you can do to make the transition easier, and even speed along recovery from the TBI in some cases.

Before you can truly make a plan, you need to know exactly what specific difficulties your loved one may be facing. Talking to health care providers and physical and occupational therapists can give you an idea of where to start.

Typically, people who have a brain injury will suffer cognitive issues involving processing and remembering information, organizing thoughts and activities, and dealing with external stimuli. Organizing and labeling items in the home and maintaining a clean, uncluttered environment often reduces the impact of these issues. You may also want to work with your family member each day to create a to-do list so that recall and planning do not become frustrations that lead to more emotional distress. Setting a consistent schedule and developing a routine also help.

These same activities can be reassuring when your loved one is dealing with emotional problems, but understanding from you is also needed when you notice personality changes, depression, anxiety, or any other mood issues. A therapist may be able to provide coping strategies for these, both for the family member, and for you, loved ones and friends who want to be a part of his or her life. Support groups are also often helpful for everyone involved. 

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