A traumatic brain injury can have a serious impact on a person’s physical and cognitive abilities, as well as potentially affecting their personality. While many of these symptoms are treatable with the right approach, people dealing with a traumatic brain injury are often left facing significant practical problems in their day-to-day lives.
These problems may be temporary or more long lasting, but with the right strategies, it can be made a lot easier for someone recovering from a traumatic brain injury to cope and start to rebuild their lives.
Many people with a brain injury will struggle with aspects of self-care due to the physical and cognitive issues they experience. This might mean having difficulty remembering to take medication or how to cook, or more profound problems, such as being unable to dress themselves or to wash.
In such situations, traumatic brain injury sufferers are likely to need the support of friends, family and, in some cases, professional care support workers to ensure their needs are met. They may also benefit from working with an occupational therapist to help them devise alternate strategies for carrying out problematic tasks, such as washing and enabling them to live more independently.
Returning to work
When returning to work, you may not have to disclose the details of your brain injury. However, if you do so your employer will be required under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments to the workplace for you.
This could mean allowing you to return to work gradually, working a reduced number of hours per day and days per week. It may mean changing your duties to match your current capabilities or ensuring colleagues available to give additional support as required.
Many people with a traumatic brain injury are able to return to driving relatively quickly, but it is important to inform the Drivers Medical Unit of the DVLA and your insurance company following a brain injury. Failing to do so may be a criminal offence and could leave your insurance invalid.
If you have been left with physical disabilities, you may need to have a car specially adapted to your needs. You may be able to get funding for this if you are eligible for Disability Living Allowance, so this is something that could be worth exploring.
Interacting with other people
It is common for people with an acquired brain injury to have some emotional and behavioural issues, such as anxiety, depression, impulsivity, irritability and difficulty controlling their anger. This can make interacting with other people a challenge, especially when dealing with strangers who will not know the cause of these issues.
One option is to carry some form of identification, such as the Headway brain injury identity card to let people know that you are dealing with a traumatic brain injury. This can help them be more understanding of the issues you are dealing with and prompt them to be more accommodating and supportive.
Get the support you need following a traumatic brain injury
Recovering from a traumatic brain injury can be a long process requiring lots of specialist treatment, care and support. While the NHS can provide much of this free of charge, some of the support you need, such as in-home care, may need to be paid for privately.
The need to make sure a loved one has everything they require for their recovery is one of the main reasons many people pursue compensation for a traumatic brain injury. IBB Claims Solicitors are experts in traumatic brain injury compensation claims so can advise you on the strength of your claim and how much compensation you may be entitled to, then guide you through the entire process of making a claim.