Support for TBI Caregivers: You Aren’t Alone
The true impact of a traumatic brain injury on the lives of an injured person’s loved ones is hard to imagine until it has become a reality. Though the suffering brought on by a TBI is different in many ways from the challenges posed by other serious health conditions like cancer, the TBI treatment and recovery process can still be demanding, overwhelming, stressful, and confusing. This is especially true since TBIs can rob survivors of their memories, cognitive skills, and personality traits while causing unfamiliar outbursts of anger, impulsiveness, and confusion. The TBI patients themselves aren’t the only ones who need love and support during the recovery period; the caregivers of TBI patients can benefit immensely from support that makes the physical, emotional, and financial implications of a TBI easier to handle.
The first step of coping with a serious TBI involves becoming educated about the injury and its consequences. Every traumatic brain injury is different, so there is no “one size fits all” model to handling a TBI, but general information can help caregivers feel that they have more control over the situation. Simply being prepared for potential changes in cognitive, physical, and emotional behavior is a big step, as is becoming equipped with the most efficient ways to respond to these changes. Caregivers should know that there is a wealth of resources available to help them understand the major changes occurring in their lives, and they never have to cope with the unknown alone.
In addition to being prepared intellectually for the TBI recovery process, caregivers also need emotional support to confront and resolve their grief, fear, confusion, and stress. Since so much of a TBI patient’s recovery is based upon the involvement and support of close family members, caregivers need to take care of themselves not just for their own sakes, but for their loved one’s sake as well. A rehabilitation center like NeuroInternational, with the state’s largest and most diversified TBI treatment team, offers emotional support for families in the form of psychotherapy and counseling, and many support groups exist across Florida to assist on a long-term basis.
There are so many resources available from the groups that advocate for TBI patients and their families that caregivers never need to cope with all of their emotions, stress, and worries alone.