Please take the time to check out our new Facebook Support Page for Iowans affected by Brain Injury
Recovery following a brain injury is a powerful experience for survivors, invoking a life long journey through understanding and acceptance of the disabilities, along with hope for a new quality life and self-fulfillment. Family members, who most often serve as caregivers and assume supportive roles, embark on a similar journey. Caregiving for an individual with a brain injury is a unique experience because, unlike caregivers of people with chronic conditions such as cancer or heart disease, these caregivers find themselves suddenly thrown into the caregiving role while at the same time they are facing direct loss and grief.
Tips for Family Members and Caregivers
- Accept help when it is offered! People usually do not offer, if they are not sincere.
- Do your best to get sleep, and eat healthy meals. You will need the energy to care for your loved one.
- Drink lots of water! The body naturally becomes dehydrated when under stress.
- Take time for yourself! Even five minutes of personal rejuvenation can make a world of difference.
- Face the loss and grief you feel. Work through it, not around it.
- Listen to your body and be aware of your feelings. Know the differences between stress, grief, hopelessness and depression.
- Here is an article that gives nice caregiver tips as well
Managing Work and Home
Click here to learn about a Great Video: Pieces of the Puzzle - An Introduction to Brain Injury.
Family and Self-Advocacy
Historically, we have lived in a society where we have placed trust and guidance in those professionals that would tell us what to do. With changing times we learn that navigating complicated systems, individual desires and leaps and bounds in the medical and professional fields leaves us with a gap.
The fast pace of society doesnít allow very often for others to take the time to evaluate what questions we might have or should have. Itís up to each of us to fill that gap. It takes practice and it is a skill to learn how to advocate for you and for someone else.
By no means to do we want be making demands, but work to build relationships and partnerships. Letís build bridges with those in our lives to move us forward. Beginning with understanding what advocacy is starts with communicating with others about what you need. Then knowing where to find help and who can help you.
Family Caregiver Specific Information and Resources
Stroke Connection for Caregivers For Caregivers features stories by and about family caregivers as well as tips, insights and resources to help with the day-to-day job of being there for your loved one.
BIAIA Survivor And Caregiver Facebook Group A place for brain injury survivors and family members to to connect, share stories, and provide support to each other.
Acute Brain Injury: A Guide for Family and Friends
This booklet provides basic information about brain injury and
Understanding Brain Injury: A Guide for the Family This booklet contains information on the human brain, causes of acquired brain injury, the recovery process, and behavior, communication and physical changes after brain injury.
While You Wait Practical information on the steps families might face while a loved one is in a coma: advocacy for care, financial matters, disability, social security, rehabilitation options and legal considerations.
Family to Family Iowa A statewide network of Family Navigators who provide assistance to families of children with special needs (developmental, behavioral, emotional, and/or physical).
VA Caregiver Support Learn more about the support and services VA offers family caregivers. Here is the VA Caregiver Support Telephone Line: 1-855-260-3274
Zero to Three - Military Family Project Increase awareness and collaboration throughout the military community so that parents and professionals can more effectively care for very young children and their families.
The Family Caregiver Alliance is a national non-profit that focuses on family caregiving issues. Provides educational information and online support groups and blogs.
Family Grief and Loss - a good book from lapublishing.com