Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
An estimated 15-21% of families across the U.S. care for adults with cognitive impairment. Others must meet the special needs of children with ABI. Although each individual with ABI has unique limitations and abilities, their family members and caregivers often report common problems, situations, and coping strategies.
Research indicates that primary caregivers—particularly wives—are at greatest risk of poor psycho-social outcome. Other caregivers also display high levels of psychological distress. Family members report depression, social isolation, and anger. Overall family functioning and relationships may be disrupted. These consequences may continue and, in some instances, worsen with age.
Family involvement in the rehabilitation process is critical to understanding how the injury affects cognition and behavior. It's particularly important to discuss your loved one's present abilities with the neuro-psychologist. You need to fully understand how brain injury impairments can limit future choices about educational, familial, or vocational goals.
As people with ABI resume their daily activities, their environment places increasing demands on them. As a result, the extent of their impairment may become more evident. This often leaves the injured person and the family/caregivers frustrated and anxious.
In addition, behavioral changes that impact interpersonal relationships may appear after leaving inpatient care. The adverse consequences of ABI become apparent not only for the injured person, but for their family members and caregivers.