A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a very serious health concern. If not treated in time, a TBI can get worse as bleeding continues to put pressure on the brain. TBIs can be particularly difficult to treat and can cause permanent health issues for the person with the brain injury.
A TBI may also mean big lifestyle changes for the family of the person who got hurt. What are some of the practical implications of a traumatic brain injury for the individual and their closest family members?
Serious financial adjustment
According to research into brain injury recovery, the costs to treat a TBI are quite steep. Depending on someone’s age and the severity of the injury, the costs just for medical care range from $85,000 to $3 million.
A brain injury will also reduce someone’s earning potential, which can affect the entire family’s standard of living by reducing what someone earns or leaving them unable to continue working at all. Other family members may need to work more or change the budget to account for these losses.
Changes to daily life
Someone with a TBI may require medical support, meaning frequent visits to hospitals or health care facilities. They could require nursing support at home or life support machinery. Another family member may need to leave their job to provide around-the-clock care, which can exacerbate financial strain.
The person with the TBI may also contribute less to the household. They may not manage as many chores as they previously performed.
Changes to the family dynamic
The health changes someone experiences with a brain injury can mean their daily life is very different, and that can change how they relate to their family members. Additionally, changes to their personality or mood could affect the relationship that they have with the rest of their family. A parent may no longer offer the solace and support to children they could before or may drift away from their spouse emotionally.
Everyone will feel the impact of a TBI, and the family may require months to fully adjust to the impact that this health condition will have on the household. Recognizing these lasting consequences can help those filing insurance claims or lawsuits related to a family member’s brain injury.