Category Description:

badge2Care and treatment of acquired and traumatic brain injury must address wide array of cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms.

Family Voices for Brain Injury and PTSD

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Family are direct witnesses to the needs of survivors of blast injury and traumatic brain injury. Their testimony can have an impact that is far greater and more powerful than any data or reports. Anna Freese, Director of Wounded Warrior Project’s (WWP) Family Support Program and liaison to family caregivers, knows this. She has given powerful professional and personal testimony to Congress on the critical support services that families need for our wounded warriors.

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Journaling – Your Story Matters

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Why? Because the best way to understand brain injury is to know what it does to people—survivors and family caregivers alike—and how it changes their lives. For instance, an injury to the frontal lobes can harm cognitive functions such as planning, working memory, attention, inhibition, problem solving, initiation, and monitoring one’s actions. Knowing that from a medical standpoint is necessary. Yet that might not make much impact until you know that such an injury can prevent a person from working, which means the loss of a home to the survivor and her young children. Where do they go now? How will they survive? This woman’s story matters not only to her and her family, but also to society.

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Physical Dimension TBI Improvement

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Never seeing improvement day to day is discouraging, but eventually seeing and knowing improvement is motivating. Success is seen and experienced in the long term if you record improvement daily no matter how small. This will encourage a person psychologically.

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Journaling Helps after Traumatic Brain Injury

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A brain injury can affect so many aspects of a survivor’s and family’s life that it can feel overwhelming at times. So many caregivers and family members feel alone and confused as they struggle to know the “new person” who is their loved one. These feelings of isolation and loss are also common among survivors of brain injury – whether you are a civilian or a veteran.

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PTSD and Your Children on the News

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As troops are returning home from deployments in Iraq, a regular feature on the evening news has become reunions with spouses, parents, and children. Because I live inNorth Carolinawhere there are multiple bases, I see this at least once a week – finally, some joy on the evening news in between the latest disaster, political campaign, or financial report. Especially touching are the reunions when a parent – still in camouflage uniforms – appears at school to surprise a child who has not seen mom or dad for many, many months or more than a year. It is impossible not to smile, and I admit to tearing up occasionally, at the incredible joy of this “parent and child reunion” to borrow a phrase from a Paul Simon song.

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Writing is a Courageous Act

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Picking up a pen and writing about ourselves in our journal takes courage—especially if we intend to tell the truth of our experience. It can be more than difficult to write about our not-so-proud moments. But when we do write, we learn about ourselves, process what we have experienced, and use what we learn as steppingstones to the future.

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Who’s Really Running the Show?

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We all react to others, and often that means we give up control over our lives to some degree. Sometimes we do this consciously, but most times, we don’t realize how we’re changing our behavior to suit someone else. And it’s not necessarily good for us. So read the story in this week’s post at Journal After Brain Injury (I hope you get a chuckle out of it), and then pull out your journal and choose a prompt or two to write about.

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The Importance of a Rehabilitation Focus in Recovery after Brain Injury

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Rehabilitation after brain injury is hard. It is not fun. It isn’t glamorous. But it is THE most important component to a person’s recovery.

A rehab program is customized to meet the needs of the person and involves professionals such as a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech-language pathologist, and a neuropsychologist. Rehab can be done at home, in an outpatient setting at the hospital, a rehab facility or in a medical clinic. The goal of rehabilitation is to assist the person in restoring functions they lost as a result of the brain injury but that can be restored, or to learn how to do things differently if those functions cannot be restored. While rehabilitation sounds like an event, in my opinion, it is more like a process… a process that is built upon each time the person does the work. A process takes time… sometimes a long time.

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Peer Support after Brain Injury

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Peer Support is essentially individuals supporting other individuals with similar or shared experiences. This support is offered one-to-one or in a group setting. The benefits of peer support are numerous, including that the supporter has credibility and is trusted because they have been through the experience.

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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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