Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are serious problems that can result in lifelong consequences. Though a person's return from the hospital due to TBI is often met with joy, as family members are reunited, caring for a family member with a brain injury has its challenges.
Many people find caregiving services to provide much value in such a situation.
Here's a look at what TBI is and how homecare services can help the care recipient and loved ones resume a daily routine.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?
When a person experiences a sharp blow to the head or when an object penetrates the skull, the trauma causes damage to the brain tissue. A common type of closed head injury, known as a contusion, occurs when the brain hits the back of the skull, which causes swelling or damage to individual nerve cells.
Hematoma, another type of TBI, damages the brain's blood vessels, causing bleeding.
Additionally, anoxia, an injury that interrupts the flow of oxygen, or hypoxia, which significantly decreases the level of oxygen to the brain, causes the death of brain tissue.
The location and the extent of the brain injury, diagnosed by either a CT scan or MRI, determines the nature of the symptoms the person experiences and their severity.
One of the reasons mild to moderate cases of TBIs go undiagnosed is that it can take three to six months for symptoms to develop. While a person injured in a football game might be knocked unconscious for a few minutes, an individual in a car accident who incurs a severe blow to the head or penetrating brain injury might fall into a coma that can last just a few days or even months.
In either case, most people with TBIs have little to no memory of the incident that caused the injury, the moments before the accident (anterograde amnesia), or events after the accident (retrograde amnesia). Typically, the loss of these memories is permanent.
What Are the Common Symptoms of TBI?
Some of the other symptoms and limitations experienced by people with TBIs include the following:
- Mild TBI symptoms include headaches, dizziness, issues with memory and concentration, restlessness, and sleeplessness.
- Moderate to severe TBIsSymptoms, including:
- Cognitive disabilities
- Difficulty forming and retrieving memories
- Limited ability to plan and organize activities
- Loss of abstract reasoning ability
- Poor judgment and decision-making
- Sensory issues
- Impairments in eye-hand coordination
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty understanding what they see
- Difficulty interpreting non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions
- Challenges with expressive and receptive language skills
- Depression and anxiety
- Prone to angry outbursts or paranoia
Benefits of a TBI Caregiver
Home caregivers can help to improve safety for those with TBIs. For example, they can reduce the risk of falls by eliminating slip hazards, installing tub bars, and providing ample lighting.
For family members, the reality of working full-time while still caring for a person with a TBI at home is all too real. Ease this burden by having a personal care assistant (PCA) attend to your loved one's needs.
People with a TBI are often physically too weak to maintain personal hygiene or do household chores. They may also become forgetful or suffer from mental lapses that put them at a greater risk of injuries at home. A caregiver can help with all of these areas.
A caregiver could assist your loved one with any number of activities, such as:
- Helping with personal fitness or physical therapy
- Providing first aid if needed or calling an ambulance in case of an emergency
- Providing medication reminders
- Moving around the house
In-home assistance gives you peace of mind and the assurance that your family member with a TBI gets the best care when you are not around. In addition, PCAs can work part-time or when you need to take a much-needed break.
Find More Traumatic Brain Injury Family Resources
If you have any questions or want to get started with home care services, don't hesitate to contact Best Care. We have a wealth of resources to help you find the right level of care for yourself or your loved ones.