Every year, an estimated 1.7 million people suffer from a type of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Concussions, dizziness, lightheadedness, and blurred vision are all symptoms of a TBI. Whether your friend or family member has just started the rehabilitation process or has been living with their injury for an extended period of time, there are several steps that you can take to support their journey to recovery.
3 Ways You Can Support a Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor
Did you know that falls account for an estimated 35 percent of all TBIs? Motor vehicle accidents account for an estimated 17 percent, while repetitive trauma causes 16 percent of TBI cases. No matter how the injury occurred, many traumatic brain injury survivors struggle to adjust to their “new normal.” The good news is that, with compassion, you can help a survivor adjust to their new life through the following three tips.
Visit survivors on a regular basis
If your friend or family member is a TBI survivor who is homebound, then you should take the time to visit them on a regular basis. Even if a TBI survivor is non-verbal, studies show that they can still feel your presence. Remember that the visit doesn’t have to be serious. Instead, you can have fun, make jokes, and be true to your emotions. A survivor doesn’t want to feel as if you are on a “pity visit.” Instead, they want to feel your loving compassion as you provide a meaningful connection. With this in mind, individuals who suffered minor TBI injuries, such as concussions, can be supported by taking them for doctor-approved activities. These activities might be something lighthearted like mini-golf or more low-key, such as a fishing.
Recognize that it is ok to be uncomfortable
Seeing a family member or friend who used to be the life of the party live with a major TBI can be a challenge. Instead of trying to pretend that everything is ok, you can and should recognize that you need to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Once you have recognized that it is ok to be uncomfortable, you will be ready to be a true friend and loved one. Don’t forget that if your loved one lives far away, you can always support their journey from afar by sending snail mail. From funny photos to a story or a lottery ticket, there are countless ways that you can use mail to stay connected and brighten their day.
Help them join a community of supporters
One of the best ways that you can support a TBI survivor is by helping them find a community of supporters, advocates, and survivors. TryMunity is an online community that provides the education, resources, and support that anyone who has been affected by a brain injury needs throughout their rehabilitation journey.
There is Hope for Caregivers and TBI Survivors
TryMunity was built with the goal of spreading hope to TBI survivors, their friends, and their families. Through a supportive online community, TryMunity helps TBI survivors and their caregivers receive the education, medical resources, information, and sense of belonging that they need to complete their rehabilitation journey. To discover a supporting environment that can help you to better understand your TBI symptoms, we invite you to join the TryMunity community today.