VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

Supporting a loved one with a TBI

Traumatic brain injuries are challenging for both the injured person and their loved ones. Unlike other injuries, a TBI can change how someone thinks and interacts with the world.

While a number of people may regain some skills and abilities after a TBI, many are not able to fully recover.

As you help your loved one adapt to life with a TBI, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Creating a new normal

One of the difficulties in coping with a TBI are memories of the time when your loved one was independent. In many cases, a person affected by a TBI can still remember being able to accomplish daily living skills without help. Many struggle to regain their independence.

As you support your loved one, it is tempting to take over and do every task for them. However, a better option could be to simply watch your loved one for signals when he or she needs your support when completing tasks.

Coping with personality changes

There are many emotions that come with dealing with a TBI. Your loved one may seem to exhibit an entirely new personality or may be more or less emotional than before the accident.

Don’t take these transformations personally. In many ways your loved one has no control over the changes in their brain because of the TBI. Reminders that they used to respond differently could certainly be frustrating for them. Supporting your loved one can sometimes feel like you are getting to know a different person. Take time to calmly ask simple questions. The answers someone with a TBI gives to those questions could provide insight into their new thought processes. Exploring all options that could prove to be beneficial to those caring for someone with a traumatic brain injury can bring positive results. 

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