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How to cope with the lasting effects of a traumatic brain injury

Car accidents, falls, innocent bumps on the head - all can cause injury to fragile brain tissue. Some of the most well-known incidents of brain trauma come from stories of football players who have crashed heads as they have collided in a pile on the field, but the five-car pileup in a busy Arizona intersection can damage soft brain tissue just as much. 

Head injuries are not all severe, of course, but everyone should view even mild brain trauma as a serious incident that warrants careful attention. When symptoms persist or worsen, being aware of the long-term effects of moderate to severe brain trauma can help caregivers of the injured keep perspective.

What can they expect from more extensive traumatic brain injury? The Family Caregiver Alliance says memory problems, emotional swings, behavioral changes and personality shifts may all result from TBIs

The alliance also offers tips for coping with the changes:

  • Keep the home environment free from distractions whenever possible
  • Write down the daily and weekly schedules so they are easy to follow and remember
  • Encourage the TBI survivor to try new things so he or she can build confidence
  • Reach out for assistance early on

The Brain Injury Association of America adds tips of its own:

  • Allow the survivor as much control and choice as is reasonable
  • Communicate with all family members about how to offer support in the new circumstances
  • Role play to rebuild social and other skills if they are now lacking

Encourage the survivor as much as possible so he or she feels support and love even in the middle of a difficult recovery.

Note this information only intends to educate about traumatic brain injury and is not meant as legal advice. 

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