Head Injuries Affect the Whole Family
Accidents cause ripple effects. A severe head injury doesn't just impact the person directly injured—the stress and worry affects family members too. You've been sitting vigil at the hospital, hoping for good news. This is when you need to call us on behalf of your injured family member, as soon as possible.
At Edgar Snyder & Associates, we want families to know that we're ready to help them take on the new challenges of their daily lives. Your loved one might be in a coma or struggling to get through physical therapy, but where does this leave you? You may feel helpless but there is something you can do. Call us for help at 1-866-943-3427.
We understand the major stress of the situation on your entire family, and below is some helpful information for adjusting to your new life with a loved one suffering a brain injury.
- Immediately After the Accident
- What to Expect Once Your Loved One Becomes More Stable
- Power of Attorney vs. Guardianship
- Discharging from the Hospital or Rehabilitation Unit
- Home Life Adjustments
- Stress Management
- We're Here for You
Immediately After the Accident
The early hours, days and weeks after an injury can be the most stressful and confusing times of all. You aren't sure of anything and can't tell if your loved one is progressing or suffering setbacks due to their injury. You and other family members may be feeling helpless, but you can get some semblance of control.
- Keep a notebook and write down any daily updates from doctors and nursing staff.
- Designate which family members are available during the day to get any new progress information from the doctors.
- Write down any questions you might have for the doctors.
- Make sure you have the contact information for any medical staff tending to your loved one.
- Reach out to family and friends to help you with chores you aren't able to get to, such as mowing the lawn and driving carpool.
- Try to get enough sleep and eat properly.
- Have close involvement in your loved one's rehabilitation process. The more you know about their possible deficits and challenges, the better you'll be at figuring out how you can best eliminate those challenges at home.
- Make sure the room your family member will use upon returning home is ready. Make sure your loved one will be able to function as independently as possible within it. You could label drawers with the items inside them, or leave helpful notecards to remind your family member about simple tasks like taking a shower.
- Plan out a schedule for your family member that includes getting involved in activities outside the house. That could be outpatient therapy, volunteering, or a social event. Try discussing their day with them in the evening, prompting conversation about what they did that day and helping them with their long-term memory.
- External cues can be helpful—such as lists, post-it notes or cue cards. Sometimes your family member may be embarrassed not to know something. These cues may help them feel more independent and less likely to make mistakes.
- Implement structure into your home routine. The most important aspect of recovery for a brain injury patient is having consistency and structure in their day-to-day schedule so they are always aware of what they need to be doing.
- If your family member has a change in behavior, check with their physician about it. Sometimes, patients' behavior is too much for a family to handle. There are community mental health facilities and rehabilitation centers available in case things become out of control.
What to Expect When Your Loved One Becomes More Stable
When your loved one begins to show signs of stability, their medical treatment will likely shift to more rehabilitative care. Your loved one may become agitated, which can be scary to witness, but this is actually a positive sign that their brain is beginning to recover.
Try not to be discouraged if you find that your loved one is making more progress in physical recovery opposed to intellectual recovery. Any recovery takes time, so it helps to be patient. As your loved one begins to progress, they may not fully realize the impact of their injuries until they start getting back to their old routines.
Behavioral problems can occur when a head injury patient starts to become frustrated with their loss of ability or function. As a family, you may need to provide stronger support and be more cautious to ensure safety to your loved one in order to get them through this adjustment period.
Discharging From the Hospital or Rehabilitation Unit
The hospital provides wonderful care to patients to get them on the road to recovery, but the real work begins when the patient is released to go home. As a family, you may have a lot of pressure to assume the role of "caregiver." You will have to figure out how this new role will directly impact all of you on a day-to-day basis. If you begin discharge planning early, the process will be easier. Meet with a discharge planner at the hospital or rehabilitation unit to figure out some of your options.
Home Life Adjustments
Coming home can bring a lot of comfort to a patient. They might feel that being in a familiar place will help them learn to be their old self again. With family and friends being around all the time to help out at first, there comes a point where people have to go back to their usual lives. This can be tough on a patient recovering from a brain injury because they begin to feel isolated and they feel like no one truly understands what they're going through. The changes your loved one may be dealing with from their injury (physically, intellectually and emotionally) can range from minor to very severe, and it's an adjustment your family will need to be prepared for.
Depression can set in for a patient trying to get through the day and their behavior may deteriorate. They can easily become bored and frustrated with life and may start to disagree with family members. This can turn into a cycle of destructive behavior, but there are ways to try to ease the transition into home life for your loved one.
It's hard to be the sole caregiver for a family member with a brain injury. Enlist the help of family and friends to ease the burden. Everyone in a family deals with a situation like this in different ways. Keep communication open so everyone is on the same page when it comes to patient care and adjusting home life.
We're Here for You
The daily challenges that come with caring for a loved one who has suffered a head injury are extensive and difficult. At Edgar Snyder & Associates, we know your family is going through so much. While you focus on your loved one's recovery, let us focus on your case.
We'll take care of the legal hassles. You'll need money for medical bills, lost work time, and pain and suffering. We need to start our investigation as soon as possible before critical evidence disappears.
If you, or a loved one, have suffered a brain injury, contact our law firm today. We provide a free legal consultation. Just call 1-866-943-3427, or fill out the form at the top right of this page to get started.