When someone you love gets sick, it is a highly difficult time, but when the person you care about sustains a lasting brain injury, it can feel as though the worry will never go away. The truth is that people with brain injuries can always go on to live fulfilling and exciting lives, but their condition will mean they have to jump extra hurdles to get to this place in their lives. As someone who wants to support them, knowing what to do when this occurs is the best way to help both them and the family as a whole navigate these new circumstances in a positive and productive way.
Knowing what happened
If you suspect someone you love might have sustained a brain injury, or they have spoken to you raising some unusual symptoms, it is a good idea to be clued up on some of the most prominent indications, such as:
- The difficulty with coordination and balance
- Vision problems (and other sensory abnormalities)
- Trouble communicating
- Impairments to their memory
If they are showing any of these symptoms, get them to a medical professional as soon as possible.
Once you know this person has sustained a brain injury, a good thing to do is be aware of the common causes of brain injury so that you are well informed not only to help the person you love but to be a good ally to others living with this. Common causes include:
- A stroke
- A lack of oxygen to the brain
- A tumor
- Infections and inflammations on the brain
Sometimes, a brain injury is caused by avoidable circumstances which means they will have the right to pursue a claim. For example, medical professionals have a duty of care to their patients, and if this duty has not been followed to the point of causing a brain injury, you need to advise your loved one to talk to a brain injury solicitor about getting compensation.
They will have three years from their initial diagnosis to pursue a claim unless they are legally a child, in which case this three-year timer only begins once they turn eighteen.
Why pursue a claim?
Pursuing a claim will allow the person you care about to have enough money to afford extra care and any adjustments that need to be made to their current living situation to make way for the changes in their body and mind so that they are able to live a full life without limitations.
Offering your support
Finally, you need to know what people with brain injuries want to hear in order to feel supported and in control of their lives.
- How can I help?
- You’re still you.
- What would you like me to know about your experience with a brain injury?
- Take your time.
- I will be patient and understanding.
- What can I do that will make your life easier?
All of these questions and reassurances will help the person you love feel cared for and not patronized. However, be sensitive in what you say, but not to the point where you are stepping on egg shells. They will prefer people to treat them normally.