Living with a Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) has a lot of repercussions. Depending on the severity of the injury, it can affect many areas of the patient's life. Limited mobility, memory loss, behavioral changes – these are just some of the things that people who sustained TBI – and their families – may encounter. 

Suddenly, life becomes very different. Activities that used to come easily may now be challenging. Walking, eating, even interacting with others can seem like a big task.

Behavioral changes

Behavioral changes are often part of the new reality, and that's understandable. After all, our brain controls every single aspect of our body and mind. The fact that we can move, speak, think – it's all thanks to that one organ. And when it suffers damage, things change, often very drastically. 

People who are affected by TBI face many difficulties that other people may not understand or which they underestimate due to their lack of knowledge about TBI. It's also difficult for people around the patient, that is, their friends and family. They often feel like they don't know their loved ones anymore. 

Who is that angry, impulsive, violent person? He used to be so gentle/quiet/loving, etc. 'Used to' meaning: before the accident. 

Unfortunately, people affected by TBI may see a character change; in fact, it's very common that the person who used to be patient and understanding now becomes easily frustrated and can even display violent behavior. 

The biggest challenge that families face is being patient and understanding that it's not the person's will to behave like that—their brain is simply taking over.   

How to Best Handle Memory Difficulties

Individuals with a TBI are especially at risk of memory difficulties. Often they remember events that happened years ago but have difficulty with remembering what happened yesterday. 

The good news is that memory generally gets better over time. 

You might also notice that they only remember parts of the events that occurred. Sometimes it is difficult for them to “fill in the blanks” about specific details. 

There are suggestions you might try as a caregiver that can help improve the memory of the patient:

  • Structured tasks and activities
  • Use memory aids such as a large calendar or notebook. Use a large dry-erase board to write out the daily schedule for the patient.
  • Allow the patient to have rest when needed. This helps to manage many of the emotions they may be experiencing. 
  • Set aside time to review tasks and to learn new information at a pace appropriate for the patient
  • Also, be sure to give all prescription medications as prescribed and speak with the physician about how medications meant to help with memory are working.

Managing Life With a TBI

Initially, the patient must rest the first weeks after the injury. This has to be balanced with care and interventions, as the sooner they can participate in therapies, the better the outcome.

Setting routines can be very helpful. Having a consistent day can help to keep the patient from becoming overwhelmed. It also is beneficial to allow them to heal from the injury as it helps to improve memory. 

With a TBI, patients often become overwhelmed with stimuli and may have difficulty focusing. Caregivers can help by minimizing distractions and making helpful accommodations. Patience and understanding are also key to managing life with a TBI. 

It is hard for some people to understand the behaviors of patients with a TBI. They usually look “normal” on the outside but have many internal struggles; explaining the limitations of your loved one to others when necessary can generally lead to empathy and understanding.

You may feel burn-out or caregiver guilt because of the behaviors. Never hesitate to reach out to a post acute rehabilitation center for guidance of what may be an appropriate level of care for your loved one. 

Taking care of a patient with TBI

Caring for a patient with TBI requires patience and understanding. It depends on the case, but these patients require a lot of attention and care. 

A person who used to be fit and healthy may now find it impossible to perform everyday activities such as eating or going to the toilet. Although the patient's family is always very much involved, they can't care for their loved one on their own. 

That's why a brain injury facility such as ours becomes a necessity. Patients get everything they need, from the necessary assistance to specific treatment, including physical and behavioral therapies, as they aim to regain as much of their independence as possible.

Integrating the patient back into the community

Experts cannot emphasize the importance of occupational therapy for patients with TBI enough. Thanks to the rehabilitation process, patients have a chance of getting back to their everyday life, or at the very least, becoming as independent as they can be in light of their injuries. 

Its goal is also to determine what the patient's place is in the community. Will they be able to perform the same job as before the accident? And if not, what sort of job will they be capable of doing? 

Our rehabilitators work relentlessly to bring back as many skills as possible. Speech therapy, rehabilitation, physical therapy – these are just some of the components of treatment at our brain injury facility. Our goal is to integrate the patient back into the community. 

Neuro Rehab in Florida – Community Integrated Rehabilitation

Our Community Integrated Rehabilitation program is a hallmark of our functional approach towards rehabilitation. We embrace the philosophy that each individual, regardless of disability, has the potential to live a meaningful life in their community. 

Significant emphasis is placed on facilitating community re-entry, with hands-on and real-life therapeutic opportunities to bridge rehabilitation with reality. Our Community Integrated Rehabilitation is designed to prepare the patient and family for a successful return home with the highest level of functional independence. 

We achieve this seamless transition through a combination of therapies, simulated activities, and outings, education, and training.

Community Integrated Rehabilitation Services include:

  • Dedicated Functional Improvement Team (FIT)
  • Therapeutic community outings via NeuLife accessible van
  • Vocational resources & therapies
  • Simulated activities of daily living
  • Group therapies & activities for socialization
  • Skill Building Trips

Wondering, “Where is the Best Neuro Rehab Center Near Me?”

NeuLife is a Residential Post-Acute Rehab facility specializing in Catastrophic Rehabilitation for Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, and other complex injuries. Its program includes physical medicine and rehabilitation, medical management, psychiatric and neuropsychological services, physical, occupational, speech, cognitive therapies, behavioral, dietary, vocational counseling, and more. 

Beautifully situated on 43 acres in Mount Dora, Florida, its inpatient rehab facility comprises over 60,000 square feet and contains 54 private rooms or suites. 

If your loved one is in need of traumatic brain injury rehabilitation, please give us a Call at 800.626.3876. You can also make a referral or schedule a tour.

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).
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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.

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