An injury can occur in a multitude of ways, varying from a sudden car accident to a side effect from surgery. Rehabilitation after a brain injury, for example, can be much more complicated than recovering from a broken bone. The extent of the damage and how it impacts the brain can vary from person to person, with some still able to speak. In contrast, others are left with very little communication at all, which can leave many with questions, such as ‘can someone with locked-in syndrome communicate?’ If someone you love has experienced a brain injury, read our tips on how to support them.
Firstly, learn about their specific type of brain injury and the variety of effects it can have on that person’s body. Then discuss this carefully with your loved one to find out the depth in which they experience the impact. With a better understanding of their specific case, comes a more patient and aware support network, meaning the person with the injury will find it easier to confide in you about how they feel they’re progressing.
Patience can wear thin very quickly if you have to relearn tasks which prior to your injury would have been simple. Still, if those around you also lose their patience, it can be even more counterproductive during your recovery. Do not push those rehabilitating from a brain injury too far, as this can cause further injury, accept every victory regardless of how small it may seem, and consistently remind them of just how far they have come.
Remember that the effects of a brain injury can vary from day to day, a task they may have been able to perform yesterday, could become more difficult today. This does not necessarily mean that person is regressing in their recovery. It is just a normal part of healing a brain injury.
A brilliant support network, made up of friends and family, is a fantastic place to start and can not only aid their recovery, but means the family can also feel supported. Furthermore, the hospital they were treated in could provide you with details of support groups with other patients with brain injuries. However, if your loved one isn’t feeling up to that yet, YouTube has a variety of bloggers sharing their experiences of recovering from a brain injury.
Offer to help with tasks such as grocery shopping or cooking. When considering buying gifts for your loved one, aim to buy practical items that can help them on a day-to-day basis, such as a journal or personal organizer, this is particularly useful if one of their side effects is memory loss. This will let them know you are thinking of them and eager to support them in even the smallest of ways day-to-day.
This continued support and care can help the survivor feel more optimistic about themselves and their situation, which can have a positive impact on their recovery.