Caring for Someone with a Brain Injury

What is a brain injury?

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is an injury that someone sustains to their brain through some sort of impact to their head. This ultimately results in the disruption of normal brain functioning. TBIs typically occur when a person falls, gets in some sort of accident, or gets hit on the head relatively hard. While the word “traumatic” makes these types of injuries sound scary, some kinds of TBIs, such as concussions for example, are quite common and leave little to no lasting effects on a person. In some more severe cases involving things like skull fractures, diffuse axonal injuries, brain contusions, and penetrating injuries, there is more of a risk for lasting complications.

Other types of issues can cause brain injuries as well, such as things like strokes, brain tumours, meningitis, and hypoxia. Everyone’s experience with brain injuries is different, and unfortunately, some people have more issues than others. When the injury to the brain is more severe, there may be more issues with the person’s cognitive abilities. In the long-term, they might even have issues with their behaviour, their relationships, and their ability to be independent.

Common Signs of Brain Injury

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Disorientation
  • Coordination problems
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Inability to focus

Your Role as a Carer

When someone in your life sustains a brain injury, it can be a scary and confusing time. Even if the injury is not extremely severe, there is still a chance that they will need you to care for them at least temporarily. In the beginning, it is always helpful to try your best to gain as much of an understanding about the specific type of brain injury your loved one has sustained. Do your best to communicate with medical staff as well, as this will help you to be as informed as possible!

Once the initial shock of the injury wears off and your loved one returns home from the hospital, many people may still need to go to regular appointments and rehabilitation sessions in order to continue working towards recovery. This, in addition to more help than normal around the house, can be overwhelming for carers. With all that is going on, it is very important to also to remember to care for yourself! While your loved one does require more care than before their injury, you need to remember to care for yourself in order to be in the best condition possible to care for your loved one.

For more information about caring for loved ones who have had a brain injury, click here to read Headway’s carers booklet. This booklet is specifically tailored towards carers who are caring for someone that has had a brain injury.

Need more support?

If you are caring for someone who has sustained a brain injury and think that you may need a little bit of extra support, Suffolk Carers Matter would be happy to help! We offer free support, advice, and guidance and even have a free counselling service available should you need it!

CALL us on 01284 333035 – open Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday-Sunday 10am-2pm.

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Click here to REGISTER with Suffolk Carers Matter.

EMAIL us via our contact form here and we will get back to you.