Most people think about the impact that a traumatic brain injury (TBI) has on the victim. They tend to forget about the way that these injuries can impact the family members and friends who help to care for the victim.
Even though the impacts of the brain injury are greatest for the victim, the caregivers need to make sure that they are doing what they need to do for themselves. The great impact of having to care for someone with a traumatic brain injury is often more than what they are prepared for. Below are some points for caregivers to remember.
Caregivers will need help
Caregivers might neglect some aspects of their own lives in order to provide care for their loved ones. This is especially true in the first days and weeks after the accident. In some cases, home and work duties are left alone until the person is out of the hospital or rehabilitation center. While it is understandable how this would happen, it does bring up the need for the caregivers to have help for even basic tasks, e.g., cutting the grass, in the days after the accident.
If you are a caregiver who is struggling to keep up with daily tasks, you should ask for help. Sometimes, people might not know exactly what to offer to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask for specific help.
They might need to mourn
Caregivers sometimes need to mourn the life that they lost due to the injury to their loved one. These feelings might come and go, depending on what is going on at the time. Some holidays and other special days might be difficult because traditions have to change. This is often hard to accept.
On top of the mourning that the caregiver goes through, they might also have to help children with their own grieving processes. Even though children might not show it, they are likely missing the way that life was in the past. Helping them work through this will often take time and effort.
Caregivers need breaks
Sometimes, caregivers will keep going until their own health starts to suffer. This won’t help anyone. It is imperative that caregivers take breaks so that they don’t get burnt out. Respite care and friends and family might be the answer here. In some cases, caregivers might have to hire help so that they can get a break.
No caregiver should ever feel bad about having to take a break. This can help them to get refreshed so that they can take care of their loved one better when they return.