Your decision to pursue caring for your loved one will require you to be proactive in learning about how a TBI may affect your family member’s ability to communicate and express his or her needs to you. A resolve to advocate for your family member without marginalizing his or her capabilities will allow you to facilitate continued progress throughout recovery.
Preparing your home and other family members for the changes that are about to take place can help everyone to feel more confident as plans are made to transition your injured loved one from a medical facility to your place of residence.
Home care is a collaborative process
Even though you have received clearance from your loved one’s medical team to bring him or her home and begin adjusting to a new lifestyle, you are not alone in your endeavor to provide care, support and assistance with day-to-day tasks. According to The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, there is a critical partnership between yourself and other family members, your loved one who has been injured and the doctors and medical staff who are providing continued care and treatment.
Each of these parties has specific responsibilities and roles that must be met to make the transition into home care effective and beneficial. This collaborative effort may involve medical treatment, professional counseling services and educational resources designed to help you learn how to effectively communicate with your loved one.
Facilitation is key
While you may be tempted to completely take over for your loved one and do everything for him or her, it is imperative that he or she experiences struggles in the effort to overcome barriers and achieve increased levels of independence. This may require you to take a step back and offer a voice of reasoning, but without physically stepping in and doing everything for your loved one. Your role in this situation is as a facilitator to give insight, suggestions and appropriate assistance when needed, and then to be able to provide encouragement and praise when goals and expectations are met.