Head injuries vary from severe to mild. If you have a loved one with a head injury, a positive prognosis is encouraging, but the home care is often difficult and long-term. Several tips can help you and your loved one through this recuperation period.
Follow The Basics
The brain does not heal rapidly on its own. Keep this in mind as your loved one recovers over weeks, months or years. Set a regular routine and stick to it. Consistently monitor prescription drug use.
The mind’s slow recovery is often helped with writing events down. If an important event occurred during the day, such as a successful physical therapy session, ask your loved one to write down their experience and feelings about the event. Recalling memories from the recent past is an active strategy to begin retaining long-term memories.
Know The Best Times For Activities
Plan most activities, such as visits with friends, during hours your loved one feels their best. Your loved one may be too tired and irritable in the afternoon to talk with people or simply attend a doctor’s visit. Listen to their body and only schedule high-stress events to coincide with their best hours.
One Thing At A Time
Suffering head trauma confuses one’s mind and makes concentration harder. Create a plan of activities for each day. Allow your loved one to concentrate on one task at a time. Guide their thought process to see the activity through to completion. Starting and completing a project, even something as simple as a word search, exercises the brain and encourages proud feelings in your loved one’s mind.
Take Time Out
You need a break from your loved one to stay fresh and alert. Find a weekly support group for your loved one. New friends help the mind exercise by remembering names and faces. Alternatively, you can hire a caregiver for one or two days a week. The time off allows you to refresh your mind and provide the best care when you return.
Because head injuries often make a person feel dizzy, consult with the doctor about correct and safe exercises. Your loved one may need to remain seated for some exercises. The doctor can give you a list of proper movements. Severe head injuries typically require a physical therapy professional to aid in exercise initiation. Always follow the doctor’s orders to keep your loved one safe.
The brain cannot properly heal on a diet of cheeseburgers and fries. Provide lean meats, whole grains, vegetables and fruits for your loved one. Each meal should be balanced for proper nutrition. Ask the doctor for any specific nutrient needs, such as added calcium for bones. Every head injury is unique, requiring specific care for each person.
Caring for a loved one with head injuries takes extreme patience and care. Ask family and friends to help you if you feel frustrated or overwhelmed.