Written by

Alison Flaherty - Partner, Head of Medical Negligence

Brain injuries can be life-changing events and adjusting to the effects of a brain injury can be difficult. A brain injury is a massive cognitive change and it can require a person to relearn everything that they already knew all over again. This can be extremely frustrating for that person but it can also be stressful for their family and friends too. 

In this article, we will be discussing how to support someone who has suffered a brain injury in order to help them get the best care possible. 

 

Why Providing Support to Someone with a Brain Injury Matters

When you are providing support to a loved one that has suffered from a brain injury, there is not a set list of rules as everyone that has suffered a brain injury will need a different recovery process, however the tips that we will talk about in this article can help to provide support for your loved one. 

When supporting a loved one that has suffered from a brain injury you will likely be working with the medical professionals in order to provide the best possible care. You will be able to provide the medical professionals with knowledge about your loved one that they would not necessarily know which is extremely important because it allows them to then provide the best care plan for your loved ones individual needs. 

When someone has suffered from a brain injury, having support from family and friends is important to make their rehabilitation journey as easy as possible and gain better results than if they had no support. Supporting a loved one through this difficult time is extremely important to create the best outcome possible for them and for you. 

There are simple things that you can do in order to support someone who has suffered a brain injury:

 

Educate Yourself About Brain Injuries

One of the best ways to support a loved one is by educating yourself about brain injuries – what they are and how they affect your life. You can learn about brain injuries in detail in our Brain Injury Guide. But let’s have a look at the basics of brain injuries. Brain injuries are mainly categorised into two main types, a traumatic brain injury and a non traumatic brain injury. A traumatic brain injury is when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain, these can be further categorised as a mild, moderate or severe brain injury and this will depend on the extent of damage that the injury has caused to the brain. A mild traumatic brain injury is likely to have no lasting effects whereas moderate or severe traumatic brain injury can have long-lasting effects on the person.

A non-traumatic brain injury is an injury that has occurred since birth and it has occurred as a result of something internal in the brain, again these brain injuries can have long lasting effects on the person that has suffered the injury. 

 

Be Mindful 

After someone has suffered a brain injury, they may not seem like the same person and they may need help to accept this. The best way for you to support them through this process is to be mindful of the changes that they have to make. Ensure that you are respecting and supporting their new reality, they are probably feeling frustrated so it is important that you help them to accept their new life and that there is nothing wrong or frustrating with having to relearn to live life. 

 

Encourage the Person that has Suffered the Brain Injury to get Support

There are many support groups for people that have suffered a brain injury in order to help them learn how to live their new life and it is important to encourage your friend/ loved one who has suffered a brain injury to join a support group to help them through this difficult time. Below are a list of support groups and charities: 

 

Be Patient 

When supporting someone who has suffered a brain injury, you need to remember that this experience will be extremely difficult for them and it is likely that they will get frustrated with themselves and with you when you are trying to support them. They will get frustrated when trying to complete tasks that they used to be able to do very easily. When this happens, it is important that you are patient with them and you understand that they are going to be frustrated and they need you to remain calm and keep on supporting them no matter what. 

Promote Simplicity

After suffering a brain injury, there can be many cognitive effects that can overwhelm your friend or loved one. It is therefore important to avoid too much information and keep things very simple. It is likely that after a brain injury, everything will be very tiring, predictable routines will help with this as it will not overstimulate their brain. Ensure that you are helping them with simple tasks, offering them step-by-step instructions for simple tasks to ensure you do not overwhelm them. 

Don’t Give Up 

It can be extremely difficult and tiring to give support to someone who has suffered from a brain injury but it will also be extremely rewarding and will help your loved one progress. It is important that you also have support and you are not doing it alone as this will help with the progression of your loved one and ensure that you do not become emotionally and physically drained. Supporting your loved one once they have suffered from a brain injury will help tremendously with their journey getting back to a normal life. You should acknowledge their progress and use it as motivation to keep on supporting them and knowing that your support is making a difference to their life. 

Summary

We have discussed that it is very important that someone who has suffered a brain injury needs support from their friends and family in order to help their rehabilitation process. The tips that we have discussed above will help you to support your loved one through this process. 

Brain injuries are very common and someone is admitted to hospital every 90 seconds with a brain injury. These injuries are generally caused by an accident that involves damage to the head, however there are cases of medical negligence that can cause brain injuries. If you or anyone you know has been affected by medical negligence that has led to a brain injury, you can contact one of our experts to discuss whether you would be eligible to make a brain injury negligence claim.

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