Making a Difference #7: Home & Community Reintegration

Many factors can affect a person's reintegration after TBI -- from family support to community awareness.

[♪Music] [Module 7: Home & Community Reintegration] There are many factors affecting successful integration in home and community settings. These would include education and training, family support, funds and services, community awareness and planning. When a survivor returns back home, there are multiple factors that affect their recovery and rehabilitation. It involves a change in the family dynamics and in the family environment. There's an imbalance in which the family needs to adapt to the survivor and the recovery from their injuries. There may be a change in their psychosocial adjustment with peers. There may be some problems with issues of independence that the survivor may be experiencing as he returns home and begins to try to live independently but may have some limitations. There may be a change in their personality after the brain injury and now may have different types of personality characteristics that were not there before the injury. As the survivor continues to rebuild their life, they may have an alternate goal in which now they have a different path of life to follow in which they may need assistance and guidance to try to determine what their abilities may allow them to do now. There may also be issues with respect to drugs and alcohol and sexuality. When a survivor returns back home there is a change in the family. There are many emotional reactions to the changes that they see in their loved one. Some family members may experience anger in which there is a change in their family environment and with the survivor themselves. There may be other individuals that may be in denial. Depression and guilt may accompany some of the mixed emotional reactions after the survivor has come home. [♪♪] It is a difficult time for family. There is much change and adjustment to be made. There's no empty nest for parents in which there could be a possibility in which a survivor may need to be continued to be cared for for the rest of their life. The family may also have an adjustment in not being able to return back to work and now may have to care for their loved one as they continue to rehabilitate or for a lifetime. A brain injury is a forever deal. [♪♪] During this time, there are many attachment and emotional conflicts between the survivor and their family that are normal during this process of adjustment and rebuilding their life. [♪♪] As the family adjusts, they will have many needs for information. [♪♪] Families may need information about counseling in order to help their loved one to adjust to all the many changes that they're going through. They may need information about money management and helping them with their finances. They may also need information about time management in order to help them to plan ahead and to organize. Families will also need information about respite-- information to help them take a break away from caregiving. Other information about social support services is also important to provide to families during the course of rehabilitation. [♪♪] There are many changes that will occur with the family and the survivor after their injury. [♪♪] As the family adjusts to the survivor, there are role changes in the family. The spouse may now be the caretaker. Or you may have a mother that may have to devote all their time in assisting their survivor/loved one in the course of recovery. And siblings may have adjustment issues in which siblings may have regressive behavior and take on a different role in the family. In addition to changes in family roles, there are changes in social roles. In some situations, there is a lack of social interaction completely or a decrease in social interaction. [♪♪]
Posted on BrainLine April 8, 2011.

Produced by Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Council.