We can all get brain injuries when we least expect them. Brain injuries happen during unpreventable events, especially during motor vehicle accidents according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If one of your loved ones suffered brain damage during a car crash, there are things that you should know so that you can help them during their recovery.
The effects of brain injuries, and their recovery time, depend on the severity of the brain damage. Most people with a brain injury have problems with:
- Executive functions (moving, talking and walking)
- Behavioral control (depression, anxiety and dementia)
Most of these effects improve during the first two years after the injury. However, some long-term effects can show up 5 to 10 years later. It is impossible for doctors to know for sure if a person will suffer from these effects in the long run.
The consequences of a brain injury can make it harder for the person to work or be completely independent, but it is possible for them to lead a normal life. A study conducted on people with brain injuries showed that only 30% of them needed assistance from another person to do their everyday activities.
Rehabilitation and treatment
Brain injury survivors need rehabilitation to relearn basic skills and improve their ability to function in their communities. Some of the rehabilitation specialists that a patient will need are:
- Occupational therapist: to relearn skills for daily activities.
- Physical therapist: to relearn movement patterns.
- Neuropsychologist: to get assessed on cognitive impairment and performance.
The length of rehabilitation depends on the patient’s brain damage. Some people may return to the same level of ability they had before their brain injury, but others need lifetime care.
The long-term effects of brain injury are uncertain. Still, your loved one can improve their condition if they take care of themselves. Healthy behaviors like exercising and avoiding alcohol and drugs can support brain health. A traumatic brain injury specialist can also coordinate care and educate the family about the recovery process so that your loved one feels supported.