Those who suffer moderate to severe TBI face lengthy or lifelong challenges. Whether the damage is physical, mental, or a combination of the two, they face countless difficulties that range from vision problems to paralysis. For many, going to school or staying employed is challenging or simply not an option.
Other motor deficits and disabilities include:
- Difficulty in walking, talking or swallowing
- Lack of muscle control or stiffness
- Loss of the most basic fine motor skills
- Memory problems
Difficult challenges and transitions
Perhaps one of the more devastating outcomes of TBI is the victim’s inability to develop and maintain any type of personal or professional associations. For family members and others close to them, the relationship is not the same. It also affects their ability to hold down a job.
Victims of TBI undergo rehabilitation and certain transition phases. Open lines of communication with the family are essential as they suffer from a different type of challenge. The loved one witnessing the TBI effects faces a “new normal” that requires their family member to learn new methods to complete the most basic tasks. That may require certain tools and coping strategies that include:
- Putting a detailed list in writing to finish a task, including specific steps to take
- Accounting for memory loss by using prompts or visual aids
- Using a walker, wheelchair, or other assistive devices to stay mobile
Over the years, certain medical advances have taken the form of earlier diagnoses and cutting-edge treatments. However, understanding the impact of injuries to a complex organ such as the brain remains shrouded in mystery. Families and victims feel as if life is out of control. However, the one thing they can control is the continuing love, encouragement, and support for a loved one living with a TBI.