Car accidents that result in traumatic brain injuries can change the trajectory of not only the injured individual’s life, but their family’s lives as well. It can be a tremendous transition for everyone involved and it can be difficult to know what to do or say to support someone in the right way. This is why it is good to know how best to support someone who is just starting their road to recovery.
Car crashes make up the third leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, according to the CDC. What can you do to support your loved one?
Remember to take it slow
You do not have to know how to do or say everything perfectly right away, and no one expects you to. Be patient, as this is a learning process for both you and your loved one. Letting them know that you are trying, and learning as you go, can be helpful for your loved one to hear. That way, if you do something that they would prefer differently, there is an open line of communication.
Not everything has to change
Just because your loved one is dealing with a TBI does not mean that everything in their life needs to change. Providing a sense of normalcy by getting them out of the house for dinner or another activity, maintaining regular conversation about things other than their injury and including them in decisions about their life can make your loved one feel included as well as provide them a sense of freedom. This is beneficial for recovery.
Seek help when it is necessary
As someone who is a support system for a TBI victim, it can be easy to become overloaded with stress and to-do lists. Seeking help from a family therapist or a support group of individuals in your same situation can take some of the stress off you. When you are less stressed, your loved one will likely feel less stressed as well.
It is beneficial to remember that there may not be a quick fix to helping your loved one recover. It can be a long, and sometimes painful, process. Making sure your loved one knows you are there for them can make all the difference.