5 Things to Consider When Caring for a Loved One with TBI

When my loved one has a Traumatic Brain Injury. How to better support him/her without forgetting who I am?
  1. The person with TBI may be vulnerable, so try to assist in the decision-making process without erring in continually making decisions for your loved one. This will help in keeping a sense of independence and autonomy.
  2. Confusion, forgetfulness, and even lack of motivation may be factors that influence the degree this person engages with other people and activities. Don’t blame them, but try to use strategies to better engage this person in a safe and healthy environment.
  3. Don’t blame ALL circumstances to the TBI. TBI is NOT responsible for every little behavior. Personal responsibility and accountability are very important and it may be applied to a person with a TBI in a case by case basis.
  4. Individuals with a TBI have goals, dreams and hopes. Engaging in positive discussions of how to achieve these goals is important, keeping in mind that your availability as a caregiver needs to consider your own personal “me” time.
  5. Like Victor (my better half) would say, TBI stands for “To Be Improved”. With good strategies you may be able to create a healthy productive environment that may lead to success (however success is defined by you and your loved one). Improving doesn’t mean curing but maximizing the capabilities and potential the person can achieve. Being realistic doesn’t need to be pessimistic, being realistic is assessing the current situation and identifying ways to improve and achieve attainable goals.
Be safe, be you, be kind, love immensely and make sure that you as a caregiver, you maintain your independence as a person, perhaps more valuable than ever. You have been given this new mission and as long as you are appreciated, just embrace it with joy. 

Being a caregiver may not be life’s greatest adventure but healthy caregiving can be a journey of yet the greatest testament of strength and perseverance, sprinkled by kindness, love and grace.

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