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Published June 16, 2021

Brain injury continues to challenge many caregiver relationships across Canada

June is Brain Injury Canada’s Brain Injury Awareness Month and MG Law remains a proud advocate of the inspiring organization. Our firm took part in Brain Injury Canada’s 2021 Virtual Conference earlier this month as more than 160,000 Canadians suffer from a brain injury annually. Brain injury is far more common than many Canadians think. As such, there is a great onus on caregivers to continually learn everything possible regarding the nature of brain injuries. This way, they can maintain a healthy relationship with those they care for.

Continuous caregiver learning can help foster better relationships with those living with brain injury. Ultimately, there are many ways that caregivers can improve the lives of those who have been impacted by a serious brain injury or concussion. If you’re a caregiver, this blog post contains 10 useful tips to help improve quality of life for both yourself and an individual living with a brain injury.

Brain injury and caregiver fatigue work hand-in-hand

For those not affected by brain injury, it is often difficult or confusing to understand what it is like for the one who is living with a brain injury. Caregivers who look after those with brain injuries may not understand the challenges someone living with brain injury might be experiencing.

It’s possible that caregivers can lash out in anger or frustration at those who are challenged by such injuries. This issue is often described as “caregiver burnout”. Ultimately, these bouts of anger are of no help to the victims of brain injuries. After all, they require special care and consideration for a better life post-injury. Via the suggestions below, caregivers can work to help foster a stronger and more productive relationship between the injured party and themselves.

Living with brain injury: 10 tips that caregivers can use to promote a healthy relationship with a loved one who has experienced a brain injury

Caregiver burnout is very real and can be addressed with further education. Consider using these tips that can help any caregiver foster a better relationship with a brain injury victim:

1. Brain injuries are invisible

Remind yourself that brain injuries are invisible and come with a long list of complications including concentration problems, anxiety, memory loss, and general fatigue.

2. Promote independence

Promote independence and allow a loved one to take on simple everyday tasks. While it might be easier to do everything for a victim of brain injury, allowing a loved-on to take on simple tasks can boost self-esteem and improve morale.

3. Side effects of medications

Side effects of medications could lead to further issues with someone who has an existing brain injury. As a caregiver, if you suspect a medication overdose, your best advice is to consult with your family doctor or medical practitioner.

4. Guilt

Guilt has no role between a brain injury victim and their caregiver. Emotionally unloading on someone with a brain injury never helps, and caregivers are encouraged to speak to a professional therapist to talk about these challenges.

5. Mood swings and general irritability

Mood swings and general irritability represent common challenges of caring for someone with a serious brain injury. Loved ones are likely facing extremely difficult challenges as brain injuries can take away the victims’ ability to perform many everyday functions. Never respond with anger, and speak with a doctor to address these issues as they arise.

6. Coping mechanisms to reduce stress

Regularly explore coping mechanisms to reduce the stress that is attributed to taking care of a loved one who has a brain injury. Regular therapy can help navigate these challenges and promote skills that can manage stress and promote a healthy relationship between the injured party and caregiver.

7. Memory issues

Memory issues are a key part of taking care of someone who has a brain injury. Repeating something over and over again will only cause pain and frustration, so exercise patience as much as possible. Routines and memo boards can help with such challenges.

8. Refrain from telling loved ones to think positively

Refrain from telling loved ones to think positively, as doing so might actually encourage more negative thoughts. Victims of brain injuries often experience many mental health challenges tied to depression or anxiety. In short, telling loved ones to change their thought process will not do any good.

9. Celebrate life

Celebrate life and all the small accomplishments along the way. The caregiver journey is difficult but should focus on celebrating every inch of progress with your loved one.

10. Suicidal thoughts

Suicidal thoughts are common among those with brain injuries, and telling a loved one that they should look on the bright side might induce more harmful thinking. Reinforce that a loved one has shown tremendous emotional strength and courage for living with brain injury and focus on the positive developments as they arise.

MG Law can help brain injury victims get the head injury compensation they deserve

If a traumatic brain injury or concussion wasn’t a victims’ fault, why pay the consequences? MG Law is highly experienced in handling traumatic brain injury and concussion-related accident claims. Caregivers bear the responsibility of looking after loved ones who face a long list of physical and mental challenges after a traumatic injury. The special care and attention needed to act as a caregiver for someone who has experienced such an injury can be long and difficult process. It requires funding and resources to do it properly too.

You aren’t alone in this journey. The MG Law team can help you throughout the complicated claims process. They’ll not only fight for the head injury compensation your family deserves. They’ll ensure that you have the resources available to better care for loved ones who have experienced brain injuries. Call us at (613) 730-8460 to learn more.

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