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Caring for a loved one with a brain injury

It can be devastating to see a loved one, who once functioned in mind and body as most healthy people do, suddenly become completely or partially dependent on others for basic living assistance. For instance, if a traumatic brain injury occurs, simple tasks like brushing hair or feeding oneself may prove impossible without help. Understanding the recovery process of brain injury patients may help New York family members better provide necessary care for their loved ones.

Those who suffer severe brain injuries often remain in unconscious states for extended periods of time, perhaps weeks, even months. Sometimes, a coma may be medically induced to give a person's brain time to heal; other times, comas are directly related to injuries. When a person is in a coma, he or she can often still hear voices and other sounds nearby.

This is why family members are encouraged to keep talking to their loved ones, even if they can't respond. At some point during recovery from a brain injury, a patient may enter a minimally conscious state.  He or she may be able to respond to simple verbal commands, or even use motor skills to reach for objects or to hold someone's hand.

When a brain injury is caused by medical negligence or due to a motor vehicle collision where another party was at fault, it's often possible to obtain compensation for damages sustained. The process typically begins by filing a personal injury claim against any and all parties deemed responsible for an injury. It's often helpful to act alongside experienced legal representation when addressing such matters in a New York civil court.

Source: msktc.org, "Understanding TBI: Part 3 - The Recovery Process", Thomas Novack, Tamara Bushnick, Accessed on Aug. 15, 2017

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