For people whose loved one sustains a traumatic brain injury, especially a moderate to severe injury, becoming a caregiver can happen suddenly, without warning. One day you are in the office answering emails or out in the garden pulling weeds and the next your loved one is seriously injured and everything has changed.
Few illnesses or injuries result in the devastating and overwhelming damage that can accompany severe brain injury. The loved one who sustains a brain injury is no longer the same person: he or she may behave differently, think differently, and take in the world differently. And when one member of a family changes, the entire family changes.
Is TBI a Laughing Matter?
As Rosemary knows, laughter is a natural anti-depressant, an anti-anxiety fix, a shot of oxygen, and a muscle relaxer … and, best of all, it doesn’t require a prescription.
Caregiving for Someone Whose Nose Doesn't Always Know
Traumatic brain injury makes quirky seem quirkier, especially when a person is in the initial months of recovery. Rosemary learned that Hugh's loss of his sense of smell came with both dangers and quirkiness.
Reflections on Motherhood
Mother’s Day is a holiday that is meant to be full of love and appreciation, but Rosemary has found that the day itself varies intensely from year to year, depending on family dynamics, age, and life circumstances.
Here’s What I’ve Learned by Accident … How About You?
People often ask Rosemary what she has learned from Hugh's traumatic brain injury and all that has come after. In this week's blog post, she shares some of the lessons she has learned along the way.
Five Things Caregivers Wish You Would Say
During Hugh's recovery, Rosemary heard many family and friends say, "Let me know what I can do to help." They meant it, but here Rosemary shares five offers caregivers would be grateful to hear — and accept.
Life Out of Order
Rosemary talks with author and caregiver Sally Laux who lost her three brothers — two to death, one to a severe TBI.
Couples' Relationships After Traumatic Brain Injury
After TBI, many couples find that their relationship with each other changes dramatically. These changes are very personal and can be very emotional for both people in the relationship.
Banishing Caregiver’s Remorse
Do you feel like no matter how much time you spend caregiving, you are not doing enough? Rosemary has felt that way, too, but realized she needed to do something about it.
Superman: Suzanne Laboy's Blog
In February 2013, police officer Peter Laboy was shot in the head. His wife, Suzanne, is chronicling the family's journey.
Rosemary talks about how planning for life’s unexpected emergencies is never easy or comfortable, but in the long run, it can save a lot of heartache.
"Think for a moment about the best gift you have ever received. What made it so different from all the rest?" Rosemary shares one birthday present she will treasure forever.
Help for Couples After TBI
Rosemary's sister once told her, “There’s the truth we tell others, the truth we tell ourselves, and the truth we won’t even tell ourselves.”It wasn't until she was in therapy after Hugh's crash that she fully understood her sister's words.
Paper Trail or Trial?
Before Hugh’s injury, I loved getting mail in my mailbox. Afterward, I dreaded adding another pile to the piles of mail that permanently resided on my desk, office floor, and living room table.
Relationships After TBI
"When something this devastating happens to the person you love, it's a moment of truth in your relationship."
Why Stories Matter
Rosemary talks about giving her first caregiving talk at a brain injury conference and how friendships and opportunities burgeoned from there.
Why did this wife take a photograph of her husband in his hospital bed after he sustained a severe brain injury?
The Psychology of Clutter and Strategies to Help
Rosemary talks with Debbie Bowie, a professional organizer, about how minimizing clutter during and after a crisis — like a loved one's brain injury — can significantly decrease anxiety.
Catapulted into Caregiving
April 13, 2002 started like any other Saturday morning for the Rawlins family. In her blog, Rosemary talks about the phone call that changed everything.
What exactly is "resilience"? In her caregiving blog, Rosemary talks about this important ability as a way to "bounce forward" after brain injury.
Caregiving with Heart
Rosemary knows that sometimes love is the last thing on her mind when she is stressed and tired, but here she shares some heartfelt reminders for herself and other caregivers — especially since it's Valentine's Day.
Rosemary Rawlins never planned on being a caregiver. No one does. But the afternoon her husband was hit while riding his bicycle, she was catapulted into her new role.
Learning About Ambiguous Loss
Rosemary talks about how frantic she felt inside after her husband's TBI — he was still alive but he was not the same.
Professional Caregiver Burnout with Patients in Minimally Conscious State
Working with patients with severe brain injury can cause emotional exhaustion.
Coping with Fear
The day before Rosemary's husband’s severe traumatic brain injury was the last day she felt truly safe in the world.
Caregivers Helping Caregivers
Rosemary writes about how to answer the dreaded question, "How are you?"
Never Would I Have Believed …
Looking back over the 10 years since her husband sustained a severe TBI, Rosemary realizes what she has learned and how she has grown.
Welcome to My Caregiving Blog
"I never planned to be a caregiver. I don’t think many people do ... " Read the first entry of our new caregiving blog by Rosemary Rawlins.
The Kubler-Ross Stages of Grief Are Different with TBI
The Elisabeth Kubler-Ross model of grieving shows stages from denial to bargaining to acceptance. For caregivers with a loved one with TBI, these stages are not so orderly.
You Are Not Your Brain Injury; You Are You
The loss of self-identity following a TBI can be very difficult for the injured person and his family. But the person is still there with strengths and weaknesses, just like anyone.
The Balancing Act of Caring for a Loved One with TBI
Dr. James Malec suggests caregivers try to be alert to symptoms that may develop post-injury like sleep disturbance or depression, but to lean on the side of trying not to worry too much.
Why People with TBI Need a "Resource Facilitator"
People with TBI who may need life-long care need someone to network and advocate for them. This is not always an easy job, and sometimes family members are not cut out for it.
Two teenagers. A dark road. A drunk driver. This excerpt is from a beautiful book about the journey from grief to gratitude to grace by a pediatrician-mother.
Advice for Families with a Loved One with Severe Brain Injury
Keeping a journal, taking videos, and looking back to mark progress can help families with a loved one with a severe TBI. But most importantly, families need to seek help.
Writing for Two
For physician, writer, and mother Carolyn Roy-Bornstein, writing was the way she made sense of the world, but after her son sustained a brain injury, she found she was also writing for him.
When the Ambiguity of Loss Ends After Brain Injury
Although it is painful for a person with TBI and his family to recognize what has been lost from the injury, that understanding also frees them to grieve and move forward.
What Is Ambiguous Loss and How Does It Relate to Brain Injury?
Coined by Pauline Boss, PhD, "ambiguous loss" describes the grief associated with a loss of a person or relationship, in which there is confusion or uncertainty about that person or relationship ... such as a loved one with TBI who may be physically present but pschologically absent, or less present.
Patience and Persistence Are Key for Caregiving
The prolonged period of stress after a loved one has a TBI can last years. Asking for help, being patient and persistent, and knowing that life may be different but it will get easier and better are crucial points for caregivers.
The Importance of a Family-Focused Approach to Treating Brain Injury
Supporting the physical and emotional well-being of the person with TBI and the caregiver will ultimately help the whole family.
Learning by Accident
Sometimes our fear can be more debilitating than a TBI. One caregiver shares her story of ambiguous loss, family love, and emotional healing.
A Mother's Intuition
After her son sustained a TBI while playing football, one mother took the ball and ran with it to raise awareness.
Mary Walia's Story: Humor and Moxie After a Brain Injury
"I’m a young woman with a lot to give to the world, and the world has a lot to give me yet.”
Carolyn Rocchio: A Mother and Caregiver's Story
One mother and longtime caregiver shares the story of her son's brain injury.
Why Is Depression Common After Brain Injury?
What caregivers should know if their loved one with TBI develops depression.
Caregiving for Someone with a TBI: A Unique Experience
Carolyn Rocchio talks about learning to be a caregiver for her son with TBI.
Finding the Right Doctor for People TBI
Caregivers need to educate themselves about their loved one's TBI and not be afraid to get a second opinion.
Letter to My Wife's Family
A long-time caregiver writes an honest plea for help and support to his wife's siblings.
What’s Good for the Caregiver Is Often Good for the Loved One with TBI
Caregivers who have strong social supports may be better able to help loved ones with TBI.
Building Better Workplaces for Family Caregivers
Being a caregiver can be a fulltime job. How can you juggle a job, too? Learn more.
Educating Providers in Outside Programs About Traumatic Brain Injury
Service providers in programs like counseling or substance abuse need to know about a person's TBI and tailor pathways for success
Selecting the Right Rehabilitation Facility After Brain Injury
Most rehab facilities specialize. Make sure to ask lots of questions to find the right one for you or your loved one.
Caregiver Burn Out
Services like respite care can help an exhausted caregiver rest and refuel.
Get Help and Education About a Loved One's TBI as Soon as Possible
A case manager's job is to help someone with TBI facilitate from one stage of treatment to the next.
Qué hacer cuando alguién está desanimado
Aprende cómo superar el desánimo durante rehabilitación.
When the Unthinkable Happens: Support for Siblings After a Traumatic Brain Injury Strikes a Family
Taking care of seven children when one sustains a life-threatening TBI: one mother's story.
StoryCorps Atlanta: Frank and Claudia Ford
Frank Ford, 43, who sustained a severe TBI just after college graduation talks with his mother, his caregiver, about their life now.
My Child's Brain Injury: Why Do I Feel So Sad?
"I'm so thankful she survived, but I miss the little girl who used to run and sing and dance."
How to Choose Services for Yourself and Your Loved One
What is my impression of the service level? How will my family or I participate in planning services and determining schedules? Learn what to look for when choosing rehab services or facilities.
My Child's Brain Injury: Family Matters
Learn about common strategies that some families use to help them feel supported and strong after one of them sustains a TBI.
One Patient’s Story: Caring for the Caregiver
How much can one caregiver take? This mother shares her insights.
Understanding TBI, Part 4: The Impact of a Recent TBI on Family Members and What They Can Do to Help with Recovery
A brain injury affects the whole family. Use these strategies.
The Biggest Challenges Caregivers Face When a Loved One Comes Home
Advice from one military wife whose husband returned from combat with a TBI and other injuries.
Changes in Family Roles After Traumatic Brain Injury
A brain injury can change everything -- for everyone in the family.
What to Know About Trusts and Structured Settlements After Brain Injury
Make sure the funds you’ve saved for your child with TBI last his lifetime.
The brain is incredibly complex — take an interactive journey to see how the brain works and what impact an injury can have.
Ayudando en la recuperación
Aprende cómo puede ayudar a una persona querida después de una lesión cerebral.
Caring for the Caregiver
Taking care of yourself helps take care of your loved one.
Caregiver Coping Strategies
Learn how to turn bad days into good days.
Jan Brown Offers Advice on Recovery from Addiction
Friends and family play a key role in recovery from addiction.
Interventions For Behavioral Problems After Brain Injury
Success in adapting to changes after injury depends greatly on support from your social network.
Taking Care of Yourself: 10 Tips for Survivors and Family Members
Take this true/false test to see how well you rate.
Problem Solving for Families After Brain Injury
Learn five crucial steps.
Family Change After Brain Injury
Feel like your life has totally turned upside down? You are not alone.
Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself (Too!)
Take this test and see how you rate.
Communicating with Patients and Families About TBI
Information about brain injury is the number one need.
Caron Gan Talks About Finding Support in the Brain Injury Community
Advice from a family therapist on finding community support after TBI.
Caron Gan Talks About Behavior and Personality Changes After TBI
Why is my loved one's behavior and personality suddenly different?
Caron Gan Talks About Spouses After Injury
Hear what this marriage and family therapist has to say.
Caron Gan Talks About Providing Culturally Relevant Treatment
Why therapists need to take a person's cultural background and traditions into account.
Caron Gan Talks About The Brain Injury Intervention Protocol
Learn what treatment should include.
Caron Gan Talks About Working With Families From Different Ethnic and Cultural Backgrounds
Why are being cognizant of these differences so important during therapy for TBI?
Dr. Tedd Judd Talks About Brain Injury, Cultural Competency, and Relavence in Rehabilitation
Neuropsychologist Dr. Tedd Judd talks abou the way professionals can help their patients with brain injury — and their families — who are from different countries or cultures.
Dr. Tedd Judd Talks About Finding the Right Caregiver After TBI
People with TBI need to find a good fit with caregivers — from family members to professionals.
Dr. Juan Carlos Arango-Lasprilla Talks About Cultural Differences in Caregiving
Professionals working with people with TBI and their families should have knowledge about different cultural backgrounds and traditions.
Planning Your Estate
Advice on how to provide long-term financial care for a loved one with a brain injury after you are gone.
Dr. Maria Mouratidis Talks About Compassion Fatigue in Caregivers
BrainLine talks with Dr. Maria Mouratidis about compassion fatigue in caregivers.
Buscando el equilibrio de la recuperación y la compensación
Aprende cómo encontrar el equilibrio de la recuperación y la compensación después de una lesión cerebral.
Traumatic Brain Injury: Cultural Diversity and Communicating with Patients
The importance of respecting cultural differences.
Caregiving and TBI: What You Need to Know
BrainLine's webcast "Caregiving and TBI: What You Need to Know" offers ideas and strategies for people caring for a loved one with TBI.
After the Injury: Acute Care and TBI
BrainLine's webcast "After the Injury: Acute Care and TBI" offers information on the medical care provided following a TBI — from the first moments in an emergency room to the collaboration between the family and medical team to create and individual treatment plan.
Unthinkable - Tips: The Rehabilitation Hospital
Choosing the right rehab hospital for your loved one following a brain injury can be overwhelming. Tips from a mother who has been there.
A mother's tragedy, terror, and triumph through a child's traumatic brain injury.
The Water Giver
The story of a mother, a son, and their second chance after a brain injury.
Choosing the Right Caregiver Support Group
You are not alone; learn from other caregivers.
Mindstorms: The Complete Guide for Families Living with Traumatic Brain Injury
Learn two of several brain injury myths from this book excerpt.
Spirited stories and advice from Lee Woodruff — from all she has learned since her husband's TBI.
The Benefits of Peer Mentoring
In what ways can peer support be a life saver?
Brain Injury, Behavioral Challenges, and the Holidays
Worried about your loved one's behavior during the holidays?
Michael Paul Mason Talks About Unlikely Heroes
TBI Case Manager Michael Paul Mason talks about the unexpected heroes he encounters in his work.
Exploring Your Brain with Garrick Utley
Learn more about the miraculous and sometimes heartbreaking organ called the brain in this segment from WETA's "Exploring Your Brain with Garrick Utley" series.
BrainLine Talks with Sarah and Ted Wade About Their Personal Story
Retired Army Sergeant Edward "Ted" Wade and his wife, Sarah, share their story after Ted sustained a severe TBI while serving in Iraq.
Stress Management Following Brain Injury: Strategies for Families and Caregivers
A TBI often brings stress for the whole family. Here are steps to help.
Making Connections After Brain Injury: A Guide for Social Peer Mentors
A resource for social peer mentors.
BrainLine Webcast — Concussion: Understanding Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
This roundtable discussion covers topics from why mild TBIs are not "mild" to the dangers of second impact syndrome.
Ketchup on the Baseboard: Rebuilding Life After Brain Injury
Mother Carolyn Rocchio used to worry about the little things in life until her son had a car accident.
How to Be Your Own Brain Injury Case Manager
Learn about the daunting challenges.
Hoja de información: Cuidando a los adultos con deterioro cognitivo y de la memoria
Para las personas que sobreviven tras un traumatismo craneal, son frecuentes los cambios de personalidad, el déficit de la memoria o el discernimiento, la falta de control sobre los impulsos y la baja capacidad de concentración.
Caring for Adults with Cognitive and Memory Impairments
Changes in thinking skills after a TBI often present special challenges for caregivers.
What You Need to Know in the Immediate Aftermath of Injury
A useful list to help other families and caregivers, created by a long-time caregiver.
What is the Course of Treatment Post-TBI?
Awareness and education are essential when it comes to treating brain injury.
Concussion Recovery: Parents Play Important Role
Key steps for families to take.
A Family Caregiver Speaks Up
Steps caregivers can take to have more control in their lives and in those of the people for whom they are caring.
Fighting for David
What is the dividing line between hope and hopelessness? Meet one mother who found out.
The Blurry Line Between Helping and Harming After TBI
The joys and challenges of one mother whose son has a TBI.
A-B-C's for Caregivers
Here are 26 tips for caregivers — in alphabetical order.
A moving family story that makes you wish the book never ends.
Holding A Family Meeting
Help your loved one with a brain injury by learning how to work cooperatively as a family.
Managing Stress Effectively After TBI, Part I
Stress weighing you down? Learn some easy ways to manage stress related to TBI.
El cuidado del paciente
Se estima que entre un 19 y un 22% de las familias de Estados Unidos cuidan de un adulto con trastornos cognitivos. Los problemas cognitivos se presentan en toda una gama de enfermedades y trastornos como la enfermedad de Alzheimer, la enfermedad de Parkinson, la apoplejía, los traumatismos craneales y la demencia provocada por el SIDA.
El enojo después de lesión cerebral
Aprende más sobre el enojo después de una lesión cerebral.