A traumatic brain injury affects the entire family. With time, your loved one may be able to do many things on their own again. Caring for someone who has suffered a traumatic brain injury can affect your finances and your stress levels. As a caregiver, you must not just take care of your loved one. You also have to remember to take care of yourself.
Understand the Traumatic Brain Injury
As a caretaker, no one expects you to suddenly become a medical or traumatic brain injury expert. Yet, learning what you can about their traumatic brain injury can help you prepare for the future. Ask the healthcare professional to explain how your loved one’s traumatic brain injury will affect them over the course of time. Knowing what to expect is one of the best possible ways that you can be ready to provide care. Taking the time to talk with the healthcare professional to ask questions can help you know what will be considered normal and what will be considered abnormal. This will make it easier for you to determine whether your loved one is in need of more medical care.
Be Ready for Setbacks
The brain is very delicate, but it also has the capacity to do great things. As the caretaker of someone with a traumatic brain injury, you should be ready for setbacks. Your loved one could have a really good day either while they are still in the hospital or when they are finally home and that good day could be followed by an extremely difficult day. Setbacks can and do occur. They can be difficult for both you and your loved one. Sometimes, the best thing that you can do during a bad day is to just take it one moment at a time. Setbacks are common with traumatic brain injuries. It is not necessarily an indicator that your loved one will not continue to improve.
Your Role May Change Over Time
As a caretaker, your role may change over time. In the beginning, you may be responsible for helping your loved one perform all of the basic tasks associated with life: dressing, making meals, cleaning, paying bills, and taking them to and from appointments. As they recover, they may be able to take on some of the things that they needed you to do. This role change often comes with a mix of feelings. You’re relieved of some of the responsibility, but also a little worried about whether they will be able to handle it.
As you move into more of a support role, keep in mind that it doesn’t mean that you are no longer needed. It just means that your loved one is healing from their traumatic brain injury and that is the ultimate goal. It may turn out that your loved one is not fully ready to take over every aspect of their lives once they begin to recover. They may still need you to help. This can also leave your loved one feeling incapable. So, you may need to provide more emotional support during this time.
Get Help If Necessary
You may not be able to provide all of the care that your loved one needs. It’s likely that you still must work and take care of other duties. You’re also going to need a little bit of down time for your own mental health. Make sure that you talk to a patient advocate from the hospital to find out how you can get help to care for your loved one.
If your loved one received a traumatic brain injury as a result of an accident in Ontario, they may be entitled to monetary compensation. The team of lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have experience handling brain injury claims. Call our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We offer free consultations and case evaluations. Our team of personal injury lawyers represents clients throughout Ontario.