Supporting Loved Ones During Brain Injury Awareness Month

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Supporting Loved Ones During Brain Injury Awareness Month

Published by gdgmanage

If you have a close friend or family member who was recently diagnosed with a brain injury, then now is the perfect time to figure out how you can best support them.

The Brain Injury Association of America has officially designated the month of March as Brain Injury Awareness month. The goal of dedicating an entire month to this chronic condition is to bring awareness and end the stigmas surrounding the more than 2.8 million Americans who sustain a brain injury this year.

What Is A Brain Injury?

There are two types of brain injuries a person can sustain: traumatic and non-traumatic. A non-traumatic brain injury, also known as an acquired brain injury (ABI), occurs because of an internal factor within the body. Some of the most common causes include a lack of oxygen to the brain for an extended time, toxins exposed to the brain and bloodstream, or pressure on the brain due to a tumor.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is due to external forces that affect the body and cause brain trauma. This type of injury can be sustained during birth, a head injury from sports, motor vehicle accidents, or a foreign object striking or penetrating the brain. It’s also possible for an ABI to be considered traumatic if the brain injury involves a traumatic event that has occurred after birth.

Supporting A Loved One With A Brain Injury

In 2023, one in every 60 Americans lives with a brain injury. Like most chronic conditions, the extent that an ABI or TBI affects a person’s daily life entirely depends on how severe their diagnosed condition is.

Some individuals can live and work full-time on their own, while others need around-the-clock care. Regardless of how severe their injury is or how much care they need, there are plenty of ways you can support your friend or loved ones that have an ABI or TBI.

  • Offer Support During Treatment –

    • This can be as simple as driving them to and from appointments, offering to cook meals, helping them with homework from their therapy, or lending an ear to vent.

  • Learn What Causes Overstimulation –

    • Tasks that are time demanding, hold multiple steps, or cause overwhelm can be physically and emotionally triggering for someone with a brain injury. You can help them by breaking up a task or offering to address multiple tasks they cannot handle for the time being. You should not do everything for them, because they are a person who deserves autonomy too.

  • Create A Welcoming Environment At Home –

    • We all deserve to feel relaxed and welcomed in our own homes. Remove tripping hazards if they’re struggling with balance. Create shortlists and reminders for those experiencing memory problems.

  • Be Kind, Encouraging & Patient –

    • Your friend or loved one might struggle to process or emotionally handle the therapeutic strides they need to make. They might experience mood swings, and exaggerated responses, or stay in a dark room for days on end due to light sensitivities. You should never take these responses or actions personally.

    • Instead, be patient and offer encouragement when you can. Your friend or loved one is learning how to heal and live with this new condition, and that can be quite overwhelming. Being a supportive friend or family member that consistently shows up for them and offers encouragement is always appreciated.

How To Get On Disability For A Traumatic Brain Injury

While millions of people live with an ABI or TBI that can continue to live independently and work, that’s not the case for everyone. If you’ve been diagnosed with a brain injury and are unable to work or complete daily tasks, then you should consider applying for social security disability benefits.

Someone can apply and qualify for disability benefits on their own, however, the chances of you getting approved are often slim. The social security administration has a thorough and painstakingly long process to ensure your disability claim meets all of its eligibility requirements. At a minimum, this will include

  • Medical records that show your diagnosis and active pursuits for treatment.

  • Your inability to work or perform daily tasks through symptom documentation and testimonials.

  • Medical evidence that shows you’ve faced difficulties due to a brain injury for at least three consecutive months.

If you’re looking for an experienced disability attorney in Kansas City to help you with your disability claim, then reach out to Grundy Disability Group. Schedule your free case consultation now.

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