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The long road back after a traumatic brain injury

If you are the spouse or family member of an individual who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a result of a workplace accident, you may not realize yet how hard the struggle will be for your loved one to return to any semblance of a normal life.

The hard truth is that many severe TBI patients will never recover in any meaningful way all that they have lost in their accident. That sounds harsh, but it is better to face the truth than to live in denial. This does not mean that there is no hope. Where there is life, there is hope, and the medical field continues to expand their knowledge and implementation of new technologies that could enhance the recoveries of many TBI patients.

What you need to know

If your loved one was recently injured, it is entirely possible that their doctors are not certain of their patient's recovery potential. But there is also a good chance that they have a pretty good idea of the recovery your loved on is capable of making.

That's why having a frank discussion with the neurologist is vital. There are many factors that can affect a patient's recovery, both positive and negative. Even patients currently in comas or minimally conscious states may improve, although they may never be as they once were.

Aggressive therapies can help

TBI patients require a great deal of one-on-one therapy to restore skills like speech, motion and memory. The earlier these therapies begin, the better the chances of significant improvement are.

You may need to advocate for your loved one to receive the specialized therapies and treatment that could lead to their recovery. As expected, TBI care and treatment is very expensive, especially if it will continue throughout the patient's lifetime. You may need to initiate the claims process so that your loved one can receive the full extent of workers' compensation benefits.

Be prepared for the long haul

Unlike an injury like a fractured limb where the recovery trajectory is clear and straightforward, a TBI patient may gain and lose ground. What elicited a response the day before may now be met with a vacant stare. It's important not to give up hope when setbacks occur.

Choosing a care team that is full of optimistic and energetic members can make a big difference for your brain-damaged loved one. Seeking financial recovery after a TBI workplace accident can allow you to select the best doctors and therapists for your family member or spouse.

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