Support for Brain Injury Survivors and Families
Brain injuries can range from mild to severe. With a severe injury, the effects may be long-lasting or permanent. A severe brain injury affects not just the survivor but family members who often must take on a caregiving role.
Taking legal action after a traumatic brain injury may be warranted, but that alone is only a single step in post-injury adjustment. Survivors and family members alike will require the support of a treatment team, as well as outside resources.
Members of the Aftercare Team
Rehabilitation after a traumatic brain injury usually requires a team of health care professionals. It is important to get to know these team members and communicate with them often. Not only will they perform necessary medical treatment, but they can also be an invaluable source of information about other resources available to you.
The aftercare team for a TBI often consists of the following:
- Cognitive Therapist
The role of the cognitive therapist is to help improve executive functioning skills. These include time management, memory recall, problem solving, organization, and emotional regulation. It may be necessary to re-learn these skills or develop compensatory strategies after a TBI.
A neurologist specializes in the diagnosis of conditions affecting the nervous system, including the brain. The patient may need to see a neurologist often in the immediate aftermath of a TBI. Though regular follow-ups are likely, the frequency may decrease once the patient becomes medically stable.
A neuropsychologist is concerned with the behavioral changes that may occur following a TBI. These may include misperception, agitation, impulsivity or disinhibition. Because it is important to keep the records up to date, a neuropsychological evaluation should take place once every two to three years while the rehabilitation process is ongoing.
In addition, a brain injury patient may need to see an occupational, physical or speech therapist. These types of therapies are usually provided on an outpatient basis.
Survivors and family members alike can benefit from participating in a support group for brain injuries. Talking with people who have gone through similar experiences can help ease the adjustment process and teach coping strategies. The Brain Injury Association of America has a website that provides resources to survivors and caregivers alike, including an online tool that can help you get in contact with a state office for more specific information regarding support groups and more
Some hospitals, such as the Mayo Clinic, publish guides specifically for families of brain injury survivors. These are often available for free if you write to request one.
Depending on the situation, filing a lawsuit after a brain injury may be appropriate. A brain injury lawyer in Houston, TX can assist you with the process so that you can turn your attention to getting support in other matters. Contact a law office for more information.
Thanks to John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into personal injury claims and support for brain injury survivors.