Cognition: Compensatory strategies after brain injury

Cognition: Compensatory strategies after brain injury

Flora Hammond, M.D., Tami Guerrier, B.S., Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.
This tip card helps survivors, families and caregivers recognize cognitive challenges after brain injury. It gives tips on using compensatory strategies for memory, attention, concentration, mental fatigue, slowed responses, planning, organizing, judgment, and safety awareness.
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Full Description

Many survivors have cognitive (thinking) difficulties after a brain injury. It is these cognitive changes that often concern survivors and families the most. This tip card lists common cognitive changes after a brain injury and provides checklists for survivors, families and caregivers to identify affected areas. Each list is followed with suggestions for compensatory strategies. By trying these strategies, you can explore what works best for you and your family. These checklists can be used in discussions with your doctor, therapists or caregivers.
Details
Item CCST
Pages 8
Year 2011

Authors

Tami Guerrier, C.T.R.S./L., C.B.I.T.

She brings over 25 years of experience in brain injury rehabilitation. Ms Guerrier’s career experience includes providing services for individuals with brain injuries in inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, as well as in community, educational and vocational settings. As the former Coordinator for TBI Project STAR, Ms Guerrier developed opportunities for individuals affected by brain injury in the community, assisted individuals and families with accessing community resources, provided training for agencies on traumatic brain injury, developed brain injury prevention programs, and collected data on needs and service utilization. Ms Guerrier frequently presents at local, state, and national conferences on brain injury related topics. She is currently the Assistant Director of Research at Carolinas Rehabilitation in Charlotte, NC. In this capacity, Ms. Guerrier manages grant related activities including many federal grants focusing on traumatic brain injury.

Dr. Flora Hammond, M.D.

She is the Chairman of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at of Medicine and Chief of Medical Affairs at the Rehabilitation Hospita of Indiana. She also serves as Principal Investigator and Project Director of the Carolinas Traumatic Brain Injury Model System conducted at Carolinas Rehabilitation in and funded through a grant from the National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation and Research.

Much of her research on traumatic brain injury has focused on outcome prediction, post-traumatic irritability, aggression, depression, relationships, and motor and cognitive recovery over time.

Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.

She is a Founding Partner and President at Lash and Associates Publishing/Training, Inc. in Wake Forest, NC. Author of many publications on the psychosocial impact of brain injury, her writing and training emphasize coping strategies for families and practical interventions by professionals and educators in hospitals, rehabilitation, schools and community programs. Ms. Lash is on various national task forces on brain injury and editorial boards of rehabilitation journals. She is the Past Chair of the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina and current Chair of the North Carolina Statewide Advisory Council on Traumatic Brain Injury.

Contents

Changes in How You Think

Instructions

Memory

Tips on compensatory strategies…

Attention / Concentration

Tips on compensatory strategies…

Mental Fatigue

Tips on compensatory strategies…

Slowed Responses

Tips on compensatory strategies…

Planning and Organizing

Tips on compensatory strategies…

Judgment and Safety Awareness

Tips on compensatory strategies…

Conclusion

Reference

Excerpts

Sample excerpt. Preview only – please do not copy

Memory

The ability to remember can affect every aspect of a person's life. Difficulty with memory can be frustrating, increase confusion, create safety risks, and affect relationships.

Do you have…

  • Difficulty remembering people, conversations, places, events, instructions, appointments, telephone numbers, and dates?
  • Inability to recall tasks from day to day?
  • A tendency to fill in memory gaps with events, conversation, etc. that did not happen?
  • A hard time remembering new information?
  • A tendency to lose or misplace personal items?
  • Trouble remembering when to take medications?

Tips on compensatory strategies…

  • Record names of visitors in a journal.
  • Use memory aids such as calendars, daily planners, and checklists.
  • Write down information.
  • Post visual reminders in key places.
  • Repeat new information.
  • Give cues to help with memory recall.
  • Structure a routine for daily, weekly, and monthly tasks and events.
  • Use alarms on watches or timers to cue when to do a task or take medications.
  • Use tape recorders.
  • Keep personal and household items in the same place.
  • Use medication organizers.

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