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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.

Managing Anger and Agitation at Home

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Last week we talked about how to figure out what causes or triggers an angry response. Now let’s get into how to set up and use a behavior plan. I’ve also included important points to keep the survivor and family safe.

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Managing Anger and Agitation at Home

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Brain injury can cause many changes in areas of the brain that affect a person’s ability to express and regulate emotions and behavior. When family caregivers of persons who have a brain injury get together in a support group, one of their most pressing concerns is how to understand and help manage anger and agitation at home. Sometimes we’re even reluctant to admit how serious the problem is to friends or professionals.

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Grief Bursts

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Dr. Alan Wolfelt uses the terms “grief burst”, “grief attack” or “memory embrace” to describe those times when a feeling of deep sadness washes over the bereaved and renders them to tears.

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Memory Enhancement and Tips

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Last week I shared cognitive rehab strategies for language skills you can practice at home. This week we’ll focus on strategies to enhance memory.

Brain injury can cause serious problems with memory. The problems might include remembering events before the brain injury or after the brain injury. It might also include problems with making and working with new memories. What could be more frightening than not remembering your name, your life, or why you’re in the hospital surrounded by strangers?

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And this Year’s Award goes to…..

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ME! Really!? I don’t know what to say… sniff… this is such a surprise! I was not even aware that I was nominated! Seriously! First I’d like to thank…

That is the way I feel these days.
As a caregiver it gets very exhausting telling people all the time that things are ‘good’, ‘ok’, ‘have been better’ then try to throw in a ‘but there are days’ or ‘except that’ and then watch the looks turn to ‘oh well, at least he/she is still with you’. I get that a lot when I try to explain just HOW we are doing.

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Cognitive Rehab at Home

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Brain injury can affect many areas of the brain involved in thinking, learning, remembering. and communicating. Cognitive rehabilitation aims to restore those abilities as much as possible, or teach the survivor strategies to compensate in new ways.

Cognitive rehab usually starts in the hospital or out-patient setting. But that’s just the beginning. Healing and recovering from a brain injury can take a long time. Many people can continue to make progress in specific ways for months and years after a brain injury with ongoing treatment, motivation, and practice.

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Bereavement, Grieving and Mourning

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We use the words bereavement (or bereaved) and grieving and mourning interchangeably, as though they all mean the same thing. They don’t.

To be bereaved is to be “deprived of a close relation or friend through their death.” In other words, it is the event or “the call” ~ it is what has happened to you that caused you to lose someone or something.

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All of the Above is True

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Have you noticed that living with brain injury sometimes involves contradictions and inconsistencies? My husband Alan had a severe anoxic brain injury following a cardiac arrest. When friends asked how Alan was doing in his recovery my answers often started with,” Well on one hand…”

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Learning to Love a Stranger

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Valentine’s Day is not the only time we think about love and long for a deep connection with a partner. After a person has a brain injury, especially a moderate-severe injury, there may be changes in personality, memory, and communication.

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Ten Tips to Manage New TBI Caregiver Responsibilities

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Are you a new caregiver for a family member who recently sustained a brain injury? Are you struggling with all of the responsibilities and tasks? The crisis stage of brain injury treatment covers the time when your family member is in the intensive care unit, until he/she begins early rehabilitation.

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