"A brain injury doesn't just change the life of the individual, it changes the lives of everyone around them."
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June as Brain Injury Awareness Month (Canada) and BRAININJURYFORUM.com presents part (2) "Brain Injury and its potential Impact on an Individual".
One family’s story - No two brain injuries or individuals are alike, and with that said, no two outcomes or recoveries alike either. Some survivors do better than others with their recovery and that can be a result of a number of factors. In lay terms, some of those are; the type of injury, region(s) of the brain affected, injury severity, access to rehabilitation services, pre-accident health related status, to even the level of support provided by family.
A survivor may visually look like you and I, but it’s the invisibility of the internal damages done to the brain that cannot be seen by the unknowing eye. An important point to remember; is to treat the injury and the person as separate items. As a result of the brain injury, it may cause them to say or do things that are out of character or inappropriate at times. It is in those awkward, unpredictable and sudden outbursts or scenarios that it is the injury speaking - so to speak. Survivors often require various forms of support and rehabilitation from professionals and family to relearn skills and, in the more severe cases, to survive.
A survivor may live and struggle with a few or many changes and challenges. Some of those can be in the areas of their cognition, physical, behavioral and/or emotions. The extent of these changes, usually become more obvious with the progression of time. It is not uncommon for a survivor to continue to make progress and improvements over time and periodically stall and/or plateau with their recovery. Some of the real life challenges can be with; changes to ones personality, lack of insight and awareness, difficulty with memory, planning and problem solving, inability to understand and/or communicate adequately, slowed responses, impulsivity, difficulty with concentration, easily distracted, poor perception, recognition and judgment, inappropriate behavior, physical and/or verbal disinhibition, difficulty with initiation, balance and physical mobility.
The realization of the effects and any deficits as a result of their injury coupled with a dependency on others as well as a loss of independence and/or control over one’s life can be devastating and a potential cause for depression. The social consequences can also mean the loss of once close friends, difficulty cultivating and maintaining new friendships, isolation, and withdrawal from engaging in social activities and society. The degree and amount of changes coupled with the challenges a survivor must cope with can be extremely overwhelming and require an incredible amount of support.
“Consistency, structured support, on-going patience, understanding and time are some of the ways you can become a positive part of caring for and supporting a loved one with a brain injury”.
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