Although motor vehicles make modern life very convenient and keep people connected, they also create a huge amount of risk. Thousands of people die in car crashes every year, and tens of thousands more suffer significant injury as a result of a collision.
Traumatic brain injuries are among the most life-altering of injuries a person can experience in a car crash. However, while traumatic brain injuries do create a lot of financial costs and changes, they don’t have to necessarily mean a decline in quality of life or happiness.
If you have a loved one who recently suffered a brain injury in a car crash, there are steps you can take to help them acclimate to their new life.
Learn to accept the changes your loved one experiences
One of the hardest things about a traumatic brain injury is that the effects are so unpredictable. One person may develop a speech impediment and have trouble with their balance, while another might develop sleep issues and sensory problems.
Severe traumatic brain injuries can leave people unable to care for themselves, although moderate brain injuries can produce changes in personality, mood and behavior. It can be hard to adjust to sudden, unpredictable changes in someone you have known a long time, but your ability to accept your loved one as they are will help them acclimate to their new normal.
Make the changes you need to have your home as accessible as possible
Even for those who have issues with motor function or balance after a brain injury, a sense of independence will be important for their self-esteem and happiness. Once you know how a brain injury has impacted your loved one’s life, you can then make any necessary changes to your living spaces to accommodate them.
Grab bars in the bathrooms, step-in showers and other modern conveniences can make your home infinitely more accessible for a loved one struggling with equilibrium, strength or flexibility after a brain injury.
Be realistic in your expectations, and help your loved one achieve goals
No one wants to float through life feeling like each day blends into the next. People need to feel like their life builds toward something. It may not be feasible for your loved one to focus on the same goals they had before, such as dominating a particular career. However, creating new, more realistic goals based on current circumstances can give them something to hope for and something to aim for in your efforts to support them.
Finally, one of the best things that you can do to help your loved one is to take good care of yourself. Joining a caregiver support group, even a digital one, can give you a place to vent and get advice. Ensuring that you get adequate rest and food will also put you in a better position to provide the care that your loved one needs after a brain injury.