8 Ways to Support a Loved One With Brain Injury

Brain injury refers to a medical condition characterized by impaired brain function. It is usually caused by a violent blow or sudden jolt to the head. 

Traumatic brain injuries can affect each patient differently. But one thing’s for sure一it can cause debilitating and life-altering effects on one’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. 

Furthermore, a brain injury can change how a person functions, thinks and behaves. This means that your loved one might need to rely on you to perform simple day-to-day tasks. They will need your help to cope and adjust to their new way of living.

Living with someone with a brain injury may be hard at first since you’re clueless about what you can do to help them. 

Here are 8 simple ways to better care for a loved living with a brain injury and how to make their life easier despite their condition.

  • Learn about the effects of brain injury

The first course of action for every loved one or family caregiver should be to educate themselves about the disease. Learning about brain injury allows you to understand its symptoms and effects, thus helping you prepare for the changes that may happen in the future.

Knowing these things will help put things into perspective and make it easier for you to tackle the day-to-day challenges of living with someone with a brain injury. Here are some ways how you can learn more about the condition:

  • Talk to their doctor or therapists regarding their specific TBI. Ask them about the possible symptoms and how you can help your loved one cope with them.
  • Scour the internet for trusted medical websites and read about traumatic brain injury.
  • Join support groups and get first-hand knowledge from other family caregivers or loved ones.
  • Join your loved one on their consultations or therapy to learn about their treatment plan.

Furthermore, knowing more about TBI can help you prevent some of its symptoms from exacerbating by adapting healthy strategies and activities. 

  • Provide practical support

Patients suffering from a traumatic brain injury can experience various physical symptoms. Some examples include mobility problems, general weakness, loss of balance, and sensory problems. Additionally, TBI can also affect their cognitive function, causing them to experience memory problems.

So, it would greatly help their cause if you take on the responsibility of doing some of their everyday duties. You can show your support by offering to drive them to and from their appointments, run their grocery errands, or take on some of their house chores. 

  • Make your home a safe space

Before your loved one comes home from the hospital, it’s vital to make some changes in your home environment. Make sure to consider their current abilities and limitations in rearranging the place to make it a safer space.

Here are some of the best ways to improve home safety while also encouraging independence and mobility:

  • Make space by eliminating clutter and obstructions, especially in passageways. 
  • Make their room a comfortable and safe space by organizing everything. You can do this by keeping a calendar of activities, writing down their medications, or labeling items. 
  • Make sure that everyday items are within reach or easily accessible.
  • Label cupboards, drawers, light switches, and other things to prevent frustration.
  • Install adaptive equipment or use assistive technology if needed. Some examples include walkers, shower chairs, and railings in the bathroom or hallway.

If they are staying in a 24/7 inpatient facility, you can make their space homey by placing family pictures or bringing familiar items with them.

  • Be organized

According to studies, memory impairment is a common complaint for many patients with mild to moderate traumatic brain injury. People with such conditions can have difficulty remembering things and retaining new information, such as their appointment schedules, important occasion, or the location of their keys. 

As a result of memory problems, your loved one may feel confused most of the time, which can lead to stress and frustration. You can prevent these situations by helping them be organized to provide a sense of normalcy and control over their life. Some of the best ways to do these include:

  • Write their daily activities and schedules. Make sure to break tasks into smaller pieces so they can easily remember them.
  • Follow a regular routine to establish recall.
  • Label everything. Use sticky notes to give precise and easily digestible instructions to encourage independence.
  • Use tools to help them remember information, such as a whiteboard, planner, voice recorder, alarm clock, or calendar app.

Help your loved one as much as possible but be careful so as not to seem controlling or condescending.

  • Encourage treatment and rehabilitation

After hospital treatments, people with TBI may be advised to continue therapy and rehabilitation in inpatient facilities or at home. However, your loved one may experience difficulties when it comes to initiating rehab exercises on their own.

So, the best way to help them is to encourage rehabilitation by providing assistance or offering to perform exercises with them. You may also offer to accompany them to and from their therapy sessions. 

These seemingly simple things can have a huge impact on your loved one and may encourage them more to attend their therapy. 

  • Set-up appropriate activities

A traumatic brain injury may impair your loved one’s physical and mental capabilities. But this does not mean that they should spend their days confined to their bed or room. It’s still important for them to expand their comfort zone and maintain social relationships. 

One healthy way to do this is to gently encourage them to go out or try new activities. Start with something simple such as inviting them to sit with you on the porch or accompany you while you do gardening.

Once they warm up to the idea of going out, you can set up activities they can enjoy. This can include a trip to somewhere quiet and peaceful, like a secluded park or riverside. You may also arrange a simple gathering with a few close friends or loved ones, such as brunch or a BBQ at home.

  • Be patient

Damage to the frontal lobes can cause several mental and behavioral issues, such as mood swings, irritability, and lack of empathy. It may also be challenging to control their negative emotions, especially during specific triggers, such as frustration, exhaustion, or overstimulation.

So if your loved one ever gets unreasonably angry or irritated, it’s best to stay patient and avoid reacting negatively. Don’t take these outbursts personally since, more often than not, it's just the result of a problem that they have a hard time coping with.

When these things happen, you can try to figure out and resolve the source of their frustrations. You may also try to reassure and comfort them. Sometimes, letting them have alone time for a few minutes can also help. Just remember to stay supportive and compassionate during these trying times.

  • Provide emotional support

There’s no playbook on how to cope with brain injury for both patients and loved ones. But it’s undeniable that emotional support plays a crucial part in one’s overall recovery. Showing support in the simplest ways (e.g., being with them every day, validating their emotions) can make a big difference in their rehabilitation process. 

inpatient neuro rehab near me

Where to find a quality inpatient neuro rehab near me?

The road to recovery from a brain injury is not an easy journey for both patients and loved ones. But these hardships are only temporary with the help of the best team of therapists at NeuLife.

NeuLife offers one of the best rehabilitative services and residential post-acute programs in the area. We strive hard to give your loved ones the best care and treatment plans so they can achieve the highest level of functionality and independence.

We provide various services, such as 

And more!

Contact us now at 800-626-3876 or schedule a tour to visit our residential and 24/7 inpatient rehab in Florida.


The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.



Dedicated to providing the highest caliber of care to individuals with brain injuries, NeuLife Rehabilitation is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
Learn More

Our Partners


Let Us Help...

We know that choosing the next step in your recovery from a catastrophic illness or injury is complex. Together, we can help you take the next step.

Contact us with any questions today.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram