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Helpful Tips for People with TBI's to Maintain Independence

Sasha Dwyer - Sunday, June 29, 2014

People who get their TBI later in life, often feel that their independence has been taken away.  Here are some helpful tips to help you maintain some of that independence!

 

To address problems with memory, attention span, and organization:

Try creating daily schedules and checking things off as you do them. 

Use alarms to remind yourself of things you need to do throughout the day, such as taking medications.  Keep calendars where they are easy to see, and review and update them every day.

Have specific places for things that you use a lot, such as your house keys. 

If reading is challenging, listen to recorded books from the local library.

Play games that use memory and problem solving skills, such as cards, dominoes, checkers, chess, word search puzzles, and board games. 

Reduce distractions such as noise and clutter to help make you concentrate and make fewer mistakes. 

 

If you want to feel more in control of your emotions and behavior:

Try to avoid things that make you angry or frustrated.

Make time to do the things you enjoy, such as hobbies or being with friends.

Allow yourself to grieve your losses.

Accept help from people you trust.

Get enough sleep and rest.  Being tired and in pain can make it harder to cope.

Join a support group to share your experiences and learn from others.

 

To ensure that you are being as safe as possible:

Keep emergency contact numbers on the refrigerator, where they are easy to find, and see. 

Remember that you may need more help than you realize.  Ask for support from a family member or friend. 

Use household appliances that have fewer risks until you have been evaluated.  For example, use the microwave instead of a stove.

If you want to drive, have an evaluation before getting behind the wheel.  If you can’t drive, look into an alternative transportation in your community.

Install safety grab bars near the toilet, and in the tub if you have poor strength and balance. 

Look into some sort of an emergency call button so that you are able to call for help if need be.

If you would like to get back into participating in work, school, or volunteer opportunities:

Think about things you enjoy and are good at.  How can you apply these to work, school, or volunteer positions?

Meet with your employer or school administrator to talk about your skills, and what you need help with.

Consider taking a different job in the same company if you are having trouble at work.

Ask for feedback or assistance from a trusted friend or colleague.   

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