Communicating After a TBI

Question: 

My wife sustained a TBI almost four years ago when she fell from a ladder while washing a window. During conversations, she has trouble finding the words she wants to say and sometimes loses her train of thought. This makes social gatherings frustrating for her. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: 

Social situations are hard because there is usually other noise and distractions. Here are some strategies that might help:

  • Pick the quietest place in the room to have a conversation — away from the TV or music.
  • Talk with one person at a time.
  • Prepare some topics in advance.
  • Bring photos of a vacation or family to share.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help: “Sorry, I just lost my train of thought. What were we talking about?”

Family and friends can also help your wife if she is having trouble finding the right words or remembering what she wanted to say by giving her a gentle reminder or clue about the topic … “You said you liked that movie, too — is it George Clooney you like?”

It’s also helpful to remember that parties or even small social gatherings can be tiring and stressful, so recognizing when it’s time to leave is crucial.

 

Posted on BrainLine February 16, 2010

Janet Brown

Janet Brown, MA, CCC-SLP spent twenty years in practice at the Veterans Administration Medical Center and at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, DC. She is the current director of Health Care Services at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Comments

i WROTE YOU TO SEE IF YOU COULD HELP ME WAS MY QUESTION WRONG TO ASK YOU? IT WAS ABOUT HELPING MY SISTER WITH RA AND HOW I CAN HELP HER WITH MY BROKEN HEAD. I AM TRYING TO DO THINGS FOR HER THAT I  WONT DO IT WRONG OR REPEAT MYSELF THAT MAKES HER MAD OR FRUSTRATED WITH ME.; I AMTRYING TO HELP MYSELF TO HELP HER. IF YOU CAN NOT HELP ME CAN YOU DIRECT ME TO SOMEONE WHO CAN PLEASE  MY YAHOO IS DRBBIEMORRIS1234@YAHOO.COM THANK YOU

I HAVE THE BROKEN HEAD ;)  i WAS ON A LADDER WHEN PAINTING MY SISTERS HOUSE, i HEARD SOMEONE YELL AT MY AUTISTIC NEPHEW I LOST MY BALANCE AND FELL. MY SISTER HAS RA AND IM TRYING TO HELP HER AND SHE GETS FRUSTRATED WITH ME BECAUSE I DO NOT REMEMBER HOW TO DO THINGS TO HELP SOMETIMES. I WANT TO HELP MYSELF HELP HER AND MYSELF HOW TO DO THINGS RIGHT WITHOUT GETTING HER WE CAN HAVE ONE PERSON TO HELP BUT SHE CAN ONLY FRUSTRATED OR ANGRY

 SO IF YOU COULD HELP ME I WOULD APPRECIATE IT. DJ MORRIS

Great Advice! I had company over the weekend and struggled. I didn't say anything about my injury, but noticed myself forgetting and repeating way more. Hense why I'm putting this on my page. Thank You :)

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