Family Caregiver Guide: Becoming a Family Caregiver for a Service Member/Veteran with TBI (Module 3)

The Defense Health Board, The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center and The Department of Veterans Affairs
Family Caregiver Guide: Becoming a Family Caregiver for a Service Member/Veteran with TBI (Module 3)

Module 3 Summary

You play an important role in the recovery of your service member/ veteran with TBI.

You may be a spouse, parent, sibling, or friend. Your job as a caregiver may include being a:

  • case manager
  • advocate
  • benefits coordinator
  • health care provider.

All of these roles may be new to you.

You are starting out on an important journey in your life — becoming a family caregiver to someone who has a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A caregiver like you can help your service member/veteran recover as fully as possible.

Some of the main ideas in this module are:

  • Get to know the members of the health care team and the case managers. They can and will help you during the hospital stay, during recovery, and when your service member/veteran comes home.
  • Keep health care and military information about your service member/ veteran in a notebook. Being organized helps you feel less stressed.
  • Talk about your needs and the needs of your service member/veteran to others (advocacy).
  • Take care of yourself first, so you can take care of your service member/veteran.
  • Take time and be honest when helping children and other family members cope with TBI.
  • Allow your friends and family to build a support network to help you. Ask for help. No one can do it alone.
  • Plan for some time off. Respite care and day care programs are valuable resources to you and your service member/veteran.
  • There are ways to balance work and caregiving through Family and Medical Leave and other means.
  • There are key legal issues to address to protect your family and your service member/veteran.

Much of the information in this module was guided by family caregivers of service members who suffered a TBI.

Read some of the chapters in this module:

Posted on BrainLine July 10, 2012.

The Traumatic Brain Injury: A Guide for Caregivers of Service Members and Veterans provides comprehensive information and resources caregivers need to care and advocate for their injured loved one and to care for themselves in the process. The Guide was developed by the Defense Health Board, the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Click here for a pdf of the full guide, or see it here on the DVBIC site.