I focus on their needs I help them create strategies that give them success and it’s exhausting it affects me physically and affects me emotionally and I’m not even a family member as a family caregiver there’s even more stress on you. Brain injury affects your whole family and it affects you emotionally physically and spiritually and if you’re the primary caregiver it can affect you almost as much as it affects the person with brain injury.
It’s going to be important that you take care of yourself, so you can take care of the person with the brain injury as well you know there’s that thing that they say on airplanes put on your own oxygen mask first and then help the other person. That principle applies to family caregivers to take care of yourself especially if you take good care of yourself is easier to be there for the other person being a caregiver.
For a person with a brain injury has a lot of challenges feeling overwhelmed testing your patience learning a whole new vocabulary and never having enough time in the day are all part of the experience and brain injury can also come with unique challenges like memory issues and behavior problems.
Like sudden rage or the inability to get started with an activity all these things can really create stress for the whole family and challenge any relationship, that’s why it’s so important for the caregiver to spend time every day doing something for him or herself. If you spend a little time taking care of yourself, you’ll have more patience and energy to take care of your family member.
One thing we hear a lot from family members is that the emotional rollercoaster can be as exhausting as the physical demands, one day you’re a wife or a husband and then after the injury you find yourself feeling more like a parent. Or after so many years raising your children they’re looking forward to traveling or picking up a few hobbyists and then because you’re 28 year old son or daughter has had a brain injury he or she is moving back in with you and you return to your role of responsible parent and then there are the many complicated feelings that come after the injury simply put it is exhausting to be the caregiver.
For someone with a brain injury dependent, whether it’s getting a little exercise or grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend finding a support group or bringing in a professional caregiver for a family member to give you a break occasionally it’s so important to remember that a family caregiver needs a little care to from time to time.
So, take a good look at the stresses in your life you’re not a superhero if you take care of yourself you can take care of the person with a brain injury so I’m going to go for a short walk now take care and really take care of you.