Life after Brain Injury: A guide for families

Life after Brain Injury: A guide for families

Carolyn Rocchio and Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.
The emotional trauma that accompanies the physical and medical trauma of a brain injury can affect every member of the family. This tip card describes common feelings and reactions of families during the early stages of the survivor’s hospital care, rehabilitation, and return home.
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Full Description

Families go through a range of emotions over time when a spouse, sibling, or child has an acquired brain injury. This tip card gives practical tips for families on gathering information while the survivor is in the hospital and finding resources for learning about brain injury. It describes changes in hopes and expectations of family members as the survivor leaves the hospital, enters rehabilitation, and comes home. State and community programs are identified to help families find resources in the community and pay the bills.
Pages 8
Year 2008, third edition


Carolyn Rocchio

As a spokesperson for families of survivors of brain injury and founder and past President of the Brain Injury Association of Florida, Carolyn Rocchio is internationally recognized for her compassion and expertise.

As a columnist for TBI Challenge! and for Brain Injury Source, popular publications of the Brain Injury Association of America, Ms. Rocchio has written many articles for families and professionals on the consequences of brain injury and finding meaning in life after brain injury.

Carolyn’s list of achievements, honors and publications is lengthy. She is the voice of a mother who knows first hand about the compassion, endurance, hope and determination needed to move forward after brain injury.

Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.

Marilyn uses her social work experience and research in pediatric rehabilitation to develop sensitive and practical guides for families, educators, and professionals. Marilyn's specialty is helping families cope with the emotional impact of brain injury and developing strategies for negotiating the complex service system. Now President and Senior Editor of Lash and Associates Publishing/Training, she focuses on developing user friendly publications for families, educators, and clinicians.


This tip card helps families...
  • understand their emotions
  • gather information on brain injury
  • prepare for changes at home
  • find community resources
  • prepare for the future
Emotional Reactions
  • You may be feeling many emotions…
  • You may be worried about…
Coping with the hospital stay
  • Tips for gathering information in the hospital
  • Tips for gathering information about brain injury
  • Tips for emotional support
  • Tips on paying the bills
Moving to Rehabilitation
  • You may be feeling...
  • Many families are surprised to find that...
Going home
  • Reentering the community
  • Tips for finding resources in the community for children with brain injuries
  • Contacts in your state or community
  • Tips for finding resources in the community when the injured person is an adult
  • Contacts in your state or community      
Life Goes On and So Do You
  • Coping with the long term consequences of brain injury
  • Long term consequences
  • Possible medical consequences requiring evaluation
National Clearinghouses for Information



Sample excerpt. Preview only – please do not copy.

Emotional Reactions

Shock, fright and bewilderment are common reactions during the medical and emotional crisis of brain injury.

You may be feeling many emotions

  • a roller coaster of emotions
  • drained and overwhelmed with responsibility
  • alone and isolated from everything familiar
  • angry that a member of your family was injured
  • guilty that you were unable to prevent the injury.

You may be worried about

  • costs of treatment and rehabilitation
  • time off from work
  • your family member’s recovery
  • reactions of others in the family
  • the financial impact on your family.

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