Get Help and Education About a Loved One's TBI as Soon as Possible

So when a brain injury happens, all bets are off. So the person might come in through ER and then either go straight to the acute unit or maybe they go to ICU first and then sub-acute, post-acute--you know--all these different levels of services and various places can sometimes be very frustrating and overwhelming to the family who has no idea what to expect and no idea how the person gets from one place to the other. Well, it's the case manager's role to make sense of that for the family and help facilitate the process so that it's more streamlined and they're well-educated as to what needs to happen next. A lot of times the case manager is going to be involved--you know--many, many months and possibly years into the injury. And they'll always be there to help coordinate. A case manager's primary role is to basically facilitate the person's movement from one stage of treatment to the next. It's my opinion that immediately after the injury, a family should start looking online and calling every organization they know and requesting information, because education of this injury is going to save them months and months of frustration and heartache-- getting the facts up front and becoming very clear about the expectations. It's okay to hope for the best, but also be prepared for some really big challenges ahead. And education is the one thing that is going to best equip that family to deal with the injury.

The more quickly a family can get help and information from a case manager about a loved one's injury and the processes for recovery, the less frustration and confusion there will be.

Michael Paul Mason

Michael Paul Mason is the founding editor of This Land, a monthly magazine based in Tulsa. Mason's first book, Head Cases: Stories of Brain Injury and Its Aftermath, is an exploration into the harsh realities endured by people with brain injury. 

Posted on BrainLine October 28, 2010.

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough and Brian King, BrainLine.