What should you do during the brain injury recovery process?

Life can be irrevocably altered in a split-second when an auto accident occurs. Depending on many factors, the crash can cause minor or catastrophic injuries for the victims.

One of the worst type of injuries to suffer is a traumatic brain injury, which can leave victims permanently disabled. Some of those with TBIs can require round-the-clock care in nursing homes for the rest of their lives. Even when the TBI is not quite that severe, the recovery period can be long and exhausting. Below are some things to keep in mind in the first weeks after the injury.

-- Keep visitors to a minimum and keep the visits short. Visitors should be staggered throughout the day to keep from overwhelming the patient and family members.

-- Make sure that visitors speak softly and remain calm. Overly emotional and loud visitors can re-traumatise the TBI patient.

-- Loved ones should take turns staying with their injured family member while he or she is still being treated at the trauma center. This allows caregivers to get much-needed sleep.

-- Remember that even though it may appear as if the patient is unconscious, hearing is the sense that remains even after others have gone. Make sure that nobody says anything inappropriate in front of the patient.

-- Remaining hopeful is very important for the recovery process of TBI patients. Encourage them to explore all therapeutic options that are available.

Caregivers of TBI patients frequently experience burn out and often don't practice good self-care. Seek out support groups, counselling and respite care when necessary. Filing a claim for damages against the insurance company of the person liable for the brain injuries of the victim can result in a financial settlement.

Source: Shepherd Center, "Important Tips for the Days and Weeks After the Injury or Diagnosis," accessed May 20, 2016

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