Living with a traumatic brain injury

Living with a traumatic brain injury can be challenging, but organization, hobbies and stress reduction may help a person thrive.

A surprising number of Oregon residents may be affected by traumatic brain injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, emergency rooms across the country were kept busy by 2.8 million cases of serious head wounds over the course of a single year. While 153 people die each day because of traumatic head injuries, there are many more who have to live with the after effects of the grievance. Someone who has suffered from a TBI could notice reduced physical abilities, impaired memory and a change in thinking after the accident.

Get organized

Because a TBI can affect a person's ability to remember things, organization is a key component of coping after an incident. Keeping a detailed schedule, for example, may help the individual successfully navigate a busy day by him- or herself. For others, a detailed schedule may include a breakdown of how to do a simple task, like take a shower. Family members and friends can help implement other organization techniques, such as creating labels, writing out appliance instructions, finding an end-of-the-day spot for keys and other important items, and using a med-minder to help manage medications.

Find hobbies

A person's interests and abilities may change after a head wound, but it is still important he or she finds ways to stay active both physically and mentally. Participating in community events, such as community classes, sporting associations and hobby groups, can help a person feel connected. Hobbies are beneficial because they can help reduce tension and keep a person's day busy. Even single-person hobbies, like collecting stamps or watching birds, can help someone cope after a serious injury by introducing a new interest.

Reduce stress

A TBI may increase the stress in a person's life. After all, once normal activities may feel new. The injured person might not have the same reaction to social events or daily chores. For example, after a head wound, a person may get anxious in large crowds. Getting enough sleep each night is a simple way to reduce stress, as are the following actions:

· Exercising regularly.

· Avoiding cigarettes, alcohol and drugs.

· Taking breaks.

· Spending time with close friends and family.

· Reducing amount of sugar and caffeine in diet.

Anyone suffering with a long-term injury needs to find stress-reducing techniques that work for his or her unique situation.

Living with a traumatic head injury is not always easy, which is why some Oregon residents choose to work with organizations dedicated to helping people with a TBI. In some cases, it may be beneficial to work with a lawyer who is familiar with this type of catastrophic injury.