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Being a caregiver for a spouse, parent, child, or sibling with a brain injury can be a long journey with many rewards, stresses and conflicts. While so much care and attention focuses on the person who has been injured, the needs and feelings of caregivers are often overlooked or ignored. These blog articles focus on understanding the dynamics of caregivers, the challenges faced by caregivers over time, and strategies to support and inform caregivers.

November is National Family Caregiver Month

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Did you know that National Family Caregiver Month (NFC Month) is observed every November? The National Family Caregiver Association (NFCA) originated the observance in 1997 to focus attention on the more than 65 million family caregivers who provide 80% of the long-term care services in the US. Studies show that family caregivers provide over $375 billion in “free caregiving services” just in care for older adults annually.

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The Importance of Routine

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Routines are important for everyone, including business people, children, entrepreneurs, artists and writers, parents and individuals in rehabilitation. Everyone resists routines at some time or other – that’s part of the human experience. This happens because a person feels like he or she is in a rut or that they just need a break from the daily hustle bustle. Nonetheless, they return to a routine, albeit one that may be varied or altered from the previous one.

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To Counter Burnout, One Must be Rekindled after Brain Injury

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When one sustains a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), it not only changes his or her life from that point on, but also changes the lives of his or her family members. It is for this reason that it is claimed that when a TBI happens, it happens to the entire family. Family involvement is inevitable after a loved one endures a TBI. The level of family involvement needed however, depends on the severity and nature of the TBI that was obtained by the loved one.

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Twelve Skills for Caregivers and Survivors Aging with Brain Injury

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In earlier posts, I’ve shared skills for family caregivers during the seasons or stages of crisis, hospital homecoming, and the “new normal.” Many people who sustain a brain injury live for many years. At the same time, older people are being diagnosed with brain injuries from falls, accidents, strokes, and other diseases. Aging with brain injury is the subject of much research and interest in the brain injury community now.

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Caregiver Goals

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It is summer and the heat wave that has covered the United States makes it harder for the elderly and people with chronic health and respiratory issues. I drove home from an appointment today in 102 degree heat. The car always registers a bit hotter, but my neighbor said her car read the same. The humidity sucks the breathe right out of you.

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Relationship Perspectives

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To gain a perspective is to gain another point of view. In a relationship, it is important that we try to understand where the other person is coming from or where they are at in their life. Seeking to understand first before being understood is a challenge for most people, but if you can approach a situation from this angle, I guarantee you will gain a new perspective.

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Eight Tips for Caregivers in the “New Normal” Stage after Brain Injury

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Family caregivers move through several seasons or stages as their loved one progresses through treatment in the intensive care unit, to inpatient rehabilitation, and finally back home. But we know that’s only a new beginning- not a finish line. Each stage comes with its own emotional responses and tasks to master. Fortunately, there are skills and strategies that a caregiver can learn to help maintain his/her own health, and make the job easier.

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Ten Tips for Caregivers in the “Multiple Transitions” Stage

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Family caregivers move through several seasons or stages as their loved one progresses through treatment in the intensive care unit, to inpatient rehabilitation, and finally back home. But we know that’s only a new beginning- not a finish line. Each stage comes with its own emotional responses and tasks to learn.

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Prepping for Successful Summer Fun – Even with a Brain Injury

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Summer is ripe with parties, cook-outs, baseball games, and time in the great outdoors. For a person who has a brain injury, these social events can present a few challenges as well as fun. For the caregiver, summer traditions can be a chance to give the survivor a hand, while practicing letting him/her be more independent.

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WHEN? You Can’t Always be the Caregiver

When do you as a caregiver stop ‘caring too much’? You know what I mean, when do you stop second guessing yourself about everything? A sniffle, a cough, a tired look… is it a cold? Is it something more? Are they tired? Are they over tired? Is this the beginning of a ‘new development’ in your journey? When do we (here I mean me…) stop trying to fix everything before it is broken?

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