It is probably an understatement to say that your life will never be the same after the accident that resulted in your loved one’s traumatic brain injury. Nevertheless, as difficult as it may be to think about, knowing what lies ahead may be the best way to prepare for the future.
You can be certain that if your loved one’s injury is moderate to severe there is a limit to the level of recovery he or she will obtain. This means you will likely be dedicating your time, efforts and finances to your loved one’s care. Understanding the common course such an injury follows may help you seek the assistance you need for the long term.
What is the outlook?
Your loved one’s Texas doctor probably explained the devastating news that victims of moderate to severe brain injuries typically decline in health within five years. Depending on your loved one’s age and overall health at the time of the accident, as well as the severity and location in the brain of the injury, the prognosis may be different. However, your loved one has a higher risk of suffering seizures, infections, pneumonia and accidental drug poisoning, any of which can be deadly.
Those victims of TBI who survive past the five-year mark are likely to face the following life complications:
- Severe disability
- Hospitalization on one or more occasions
- Reliance on others for normal activities like bathing, dressing and eating
- Placement in a nursing care facility
Those with moderate to severe brain injuries are more prone to alcohol or drug addiction, possibly because they are unhappy with the limitations their injury places on them.
What can I do?
You may already understand that your role in your loved one’s life has changed dramatically. You may be responsible for the physical care your loved one needs, but you also play a part in encouraging your loved one to work toward improvement, maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep a positive attitude. This may be a difficult task if you are constantly concerned about how you will afford the kind of care your loved one needs.
As a caregiver, you must be resigned to seek assistance in any way possible for your own well-bring as well as for your loved one. There are resources, organizations and individuals who can provide help for your physical, emotional, financial and legal issues, particularly if your loved one’s injuries resulted from someone else’s negligence. Reaching out for this advocacy can improve life for you and your loved one.