Many brain injury victims have lived through the most terrifying experience of their lives, only to endure something even more frightening: not knowing who they are. It can be a harrowing experience to visit someone in your family who is working through a serious TBI at Truman Medical Center, trying to make them feel comfortable when they are frustrated, depressed, or even unresponsive.
How Can We Prepare for a Loved One’s Brain Injury?
There are many things a family can do to help a victim during the different stages of their brain injury recovery. The first step is to give the patient plenty of rest and allow the initial injury to heal. Once the patient has become medically stable, his doctor will explain the full extent of his injury to you and let you know what can reasonably be expected in his recovery. In most cases, the victim will be referred into a brain injury treatment program where specialists can help improve his or her sensory responses and coach family members on how to successfully interact with their family member.
Brain injury specialists will evaluate the victim and work with the family to develop a treatment plan. This second stage of recovery focuses on orienting the victim back into his or her life. This usually includes telling him where he or she is, why he or she is there, and answering questions to reduce confusion and make the patient more comfortable.
Once the patient has acclimated to his or her surroundings, the treatment may shift to improving cognitive abilities. Cognitive therapists can help find ways to improve a patient’s memory, lengthening his attention span, developing a plan for solving daily problems, and practicing organizational skills. Therapists may also encourage patients to seek out small gatherings to improve social skills and evaluate the patient’s level of self-care.
The last stage of treatment involves getting the patient ready for life outside of the treatment facility. Independence relies on both the ability to take care of daily needs and the ability to communicate. This is why a speech-language pathologist may be called upon to help the victim improve speech and language skills.
Vocational rehabilitation specialists may also be asked to devise a plan to transition the patient back into work or school.
Have You Or A Loved One Suffered A Brain Or Spinal Cord Injury?
If you've suffered a brain or spinal cord injury you need to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.