Watching someone you love suffer through a traumatic brain injury can be heart breaking and frustrating. It’s difficult to know how you can help and support them through their rehabilitation and daily life after their injury.
Here are a few things you can do to support them.
Offer Practical Support
Directly after suffering an injury, there will be a lot of administrative work that needs to be taken care of. You’ll need to consult doctors, insurance, and perhaps even brain injury lawyers, depending on the nature of how the injury was acquired. Helping your loved one to deal with these tasks will be imperative.
Make sure that you’re clued up on everything that needs to be taken care of so that important issues aren’t left unattended.
Be There For Them
While this time will be emotionally taxing and difficult for you, especially in the early stages, try to show emotional support in whatever way you can. Being there for them emotionally will help them to feel less alone in this difficult journey they will have to face.
Spend time with them, show them encouragement through their recovery, try to cheer them up, offer to serve as a middle-man for sharing updates on their recovery with friends and family, bring them movies or TV shows to entertain them, the list goes on!
There’s so much you can do to offer emotional support, just find out what your loved one needs from you.
Every brain injury is different, and the effects and recovery will differ from person to person. How you can help and support your loved one day-to-day will depend on the nature of their injury and what they need.
In general, it’s always a good idea to offer help and support with their recovery and rehabilitation, by assisting with any medication they may need, driving them to rehabilitation appointments, assisting them with any daily tasks they might struggle with, etc.
Once more, you’ll need to assess exactly what your loved one needs from you on a daily basis, but be careful not to neglect your own needs in the process. Nobody can pour from an empty cup!
Learn To Adapt
As discussed, this is going to be an adjustment for you too, and you might begin to feel anxious and frustrated. Acting as a caretaker and support throughout a loved one’s brain injury recovery will require some adapting on your side.
Take into account that your loved one probably doesn’t want to be treated differently post-injury, so it’s up to you to help them adjust their daily life, as well as to adjust the way you interact with them, on a level that doesn’t feel patronising or frustrating for them.
This is a fine line to walk and might be challenging for the both of you, but remember that open communication of needs will be a key point for you both to master during this time!