How to Care for Someone with Traumatic Brain Injury
05 July 2023
Over 1 million people in the UK are currently living with a long-term brain injury. Caring for someone with a traumatic brain injury is a very specific process and one that needs to be personalised for each client. When implementing a care plan, both the changes to a person’s physical and psychological state need to be considered to give them the best quality of care possible. But what are the best ways to care for someone with this type of injury? Read below to find out.
What constitutes a traumatic brain injury?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is damage to the brain caused by sudden trauma, such as a hit or bump to the head caused by a fall, car accident or assault. In less common incidents it can be caused by a foreign object penetrating the brain. TBI is classified into three levels: mild, moderate, and severe.
Common on-going symptoms may include:
- Frequent headaches
- Light sensitivity
- Memory loss
- Issuing communicating
- Vision problems
- Loss of Balance
- Changes to mood
- Cognitive disabilities
- Difficulty swallowing
- Mobility problems
How to care for someone with traumatic brain injury
Traumatic brain injury can affect people in many different ways including their mood, behaviour, and physical and motor skills. That is why it’s so important to take a holistic and individualised approach to their care. Depending on what type of injury and symptoms an individual has, will determine the type of care they need.
Most people with TBI will need ongoing home care, which is often mostly undertaken by a loved one. This can be a very stressful role and can place individuals under a lot of pressure. It is recommended that in-home care is opted for in this scenario, letting a team of complex care professionals oversee the wellbeing of the client. However, this isn’t always possible. That is why our expert team of clinicians have put together a list of tips to help those who are caring for someone with TBI.
1. Be patient
When caring for someone it is important to let them work through their recovery at their own pace. Activities a person could once do with ease may now be a struggle for them – which can get frustrating. But it’s important that you work with the patient through their challenges and understand it is part of the process.
2. Stay positive
It can be hard when a person you love has gone through such a trauma but making sure to stay positive is a must. With the right rehabilitation, people with brain injuries can and do make recoveries to varying extents and people with on-going complications can still live extremely fulfilling lives.
3. Educate yourself
Knowing exactly what type of brain injury a person has and what their symptoms are is the first step in helping them cope and getting them the right support. Learning about the condition and what to expect will make you better prepared for what their care will entail.
4. Build a routine
Making sure that you have a solid routine in place will help the person cope with daily living. Giving them a sense of structure is very beneficial to a person’s mental health and will keep them on track through their rehabilitation. Our nurse-led care teams ensure that we create personalised care plans for each clients’ unique requirements and ambitions.
5. Find a support group
Our Nurse Case Managers and specialist trained carer team ensure that the health and wellbeing of the client’s family is always taken into consideration. Caring for someone with TBI can seem isolating, it may feel like you are the only one. It is good to remember that there are other care givers out there who are going through the same struggles. Finding a support group, even if it is just with family and friends, is a great way to help deal with any issues you face.
6. Get some respite
Caring for someone with complex needs can take its toll and taking a break is nothing to feel guilty about. It is important that you get the rest you need both for your physical and mental health – which in turn will help the person you are caring for.
These are all great tips but it is important to note that TBI can come with some very serious symptoms and complications. That is why specialised professionals with a wealth of knowledge in the area can offer invaluable and on-going support.
What are the benefits of nurse-led complex care?
The first step to someone’s in-home recovery and rehabilitation is when they are first discharged from the hospital. This is an extremely important time and one of the most stressful for both the client and their loved ones.
This is why it is better to have trained professionals at hand. They can ease you into the process, giving you the best advice and steps forward in how to care for someone with traumatic brain injury.
Here at HFH healthcare, our expert brain nurses and carers assist in the transition from hospital to in-home care. Providing a full assessment of the person’s needs and an individual care plan guided by quality healthcare professionals.
We offer a whole range of clinical and social support to help a person successfully integrate back into the community and their daily life. We are passionate about enabling our clients to live their lives to the fullest and helping them reach their ambitions wherever achievable.
A traumatic brain injury is a life altering change, that will mean major adjustments to a person’s life. But it is always good to remember that with the right expert care and support systems in place, patients can live very full and happy lives.