10 TIPS TO SURVIVING HEAD INJURY
1. Share responsibility of care with other family members whenever possible. Talk to professionals and friends about the problems you are having: “don’t bottle it up”. Group/individual counselling and respite breaks are recommended.
2. Try to keep the person you are caring for motivated. giving clear and concise instructions will help with communicationdifficulties.
3. The brain heals itself very slowly; so don’t expect a huge recovery in the short-term.
4. Stay calm and try to act as normal as possible as this will help the person with the injury to feel at ease.
5. It is very important for the carer to take whatever steps are necessary to stay healthy to enable them to fulfil the role of carer.
PERSON WITH INJURY
6. Don’t compare yourself to any other person with a head injury. Every head injury is different.
7. Have patience and allow yourself time to recover and don’t try to do too much too soon. The healing process cannot be rushed.
8. If you have memory problems keep a diary / personal organiser and seek professional help, it is available. The simple things work the best.
9. Stay positive and try to focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses.
10. Avail of opportunities to get out and about and meet people to keep your spirits up.
EFFECTS OF ABI ON THE FAMILY
When a member of your family acquires a brain injury the family unit can be drastically affected. Therefore, you can expect some or all of the following issues to arise:-
1. Feelings of Stress, Grief, Anger, Denial and Panic are all normal.
2. Lack of understanding from relatives, friends and even some medical personnel of the hidden effects of Brain Injury.
3. Personality changes that are sometimes only obvious to the immediate family.
4. Feelings of helplessness and isolation because the injuries are so complex.
5. Changes in marital and sexual relations.
6. Coping with the loss of a parent or sibling (as the child once knew) can be a major challenge for any young person.