Every year, millions of Americans fall prey to the aftermath of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Caring for one of these survivors can be emotionally, financially and physically taxing for anyone, but it can also be incredibly rewarding when you make a positive difference in the affected person’s life. TBI survivors need your support more than ever, but you’ll also need to take certain steps to ensure you’re providing adequate care for your loved one and yourself.
Here are some tips that will help you properly care for TBI patient while avoiding excessive stress in your own life.
Work Closely With a Medical Team You Trust
If you’ve never cared for a TBI survivor before, then the first few weeks will probably be a rollercoaster of worries, doctor visits, emotional distress and trauma. That’s why you’ll need professionals to help you figure out the next steps in the recovery process. Build strong relationships with the doctors, nurses, therapists and other medical personnel who can help you move forward and give you long-term support as a caregiver.
Set Goals for Yourself and the TBI Survivor
Working toward goals as a team is an excellent way to bond and recover. Work with the survivor and doctors to determine what goals to set and when to work toward them, then tackle them with a positive attitude. Remember, caregivers also need to set goals for themselves. Challenge yourself to engage in stress relieving activities or get outside once in awhile. If you aren’t working to preserve your own health and happiness, then you won’t be able to provide the best care for the TBI survivor.
Establish Clear Communication Methods
After a traumatic brain injury, your loved one may struggle to remember their words and engage in conversations. Therefore, you’ll probably have to figure out other ways to communicate effectively without getting frustrated or confused. Speech therapists and other professionals can help you craft a communication method that suits the survivor’s needs and abilities, as well as your own.
Seek Outside Support
As a caregiver, it’s tempting to shoulder the burden alone and take on too many responsibilities. However, that’s not the best thing for your health or the TBI survivor’s. Form a network of additional support that can help you through the caregiving process.
TryMunity is a nonprofit organization that can give you access to an online community of TBI survivors and supporters. If you need extra support, you are welcome to use their resources to seek guidance, encouragement and positive relationships. Check out TryMunity’s website today to see how you can benefit from the organization’s social platform.