Family Fitness for people with a disability

Sep 30, 2014
Tagged with: Family Fitness for people with a disability

When a family member has a disability, the need for medical support is met within the medical community through individual practitioners as well as the medical team. Therapeutic treatment is an ongoing process whether the person with a disability is experiencing a life-long condition or has suffered an injury or illness from which there is hope of partial or even full recovery. Please seek to find programs and organizations that can advocate for emotional support by accessing an online community of individuals and families who share the experience of a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Meeting the Challenge with Help

The occurrence of TBI is all at once overwhelming and challenging. In the immediacy of the moment, family members become well acquainted with the intensive care unit (ICU) and all of its devices, procedures and personnel. Progress can fluctuate as patients eventually stabilize. The new chores that befall family members are a challenge.

Support for the Basics and More

As with all challenges, the more you know and understand about the situation, the better equipped you can be to face the potential for distress or anxiety that could lead to anger and even depression. The entire life cycle of day-to-day chores such as mowing the lawn or doing the laundry is turned on its head. The level of coordination becomes the new focus for the entire family. This is but one of the areas where organizations and support programs provide assistance through shared stories and experiences of other families going through the same thing.

An Essential Support Network

Access to a network of individuals having suffered from traumatic brain injury draws in the participation of other caregivers and medical support. The necessity for emotional support for survivors is just as critical and often best met through family members coming together to participate in activity. There are organizations like TryMunity that are able to provide support through videos, articles and stories of hope and love linking people who need help and answers with those who know what it is like to live with the effects of a brain injury. Our education programs and assistance for survivors through our outreach efforts offer hope and direction.

Planning Strategies

Practical strategies are necessary for managing the difficulties that are uniquely different with TBI than with other disabilities especially with a child who will be reentering the school system. Most school systems are unprepared for what it takes to cope with the confusion, memory loss, poor reasoning and organizational skills and changes in judgment.  With some advance planning, family members help keep recovery progressing with such efforts as: 

  • Planning in advance for the homecoming from the hospital.
  • Arranging the recovery room for the family member to be as independent as possible, such as organizing drawers using divided trays with labels identifying where contents should go. Notebooks and cue cards help with daily reminders for routine personal care habits such as showering, brushing teeth and brushing the hair.
  • Planning activities to keep busy for the purpose of avoiding the pitfall of the TBI patient seeming not to want to do anything.
  • Careful attention to tolerance levels helps to avoid the individual becoming overly fatigued.

Using Technology in the Best Possible Ways

We may lament the ubiquitous nature of screens seeming to rob us of each other’s attention. When used for purposeful pursuits, the presence of computerized devices help change our lives in positive ways that were previously unimaginable. There are countless iOS or Android apps that may be downloaded for free or nominal fees that help with:

  • Reading and Vision
  • Brain Training
  • Communication
  • Memory and Location Monitoring
  • Behavior
  • PTSD, Anxiety or Stress
  • Speech
  • Organization
  • Concussion Screening
  • Life-Skills
  • Social Situations
  • Hearing
  • Problem Solving

There are apps made available by recommendation of medical practitioners specifically for memory exercises for TBI brain workout on Pinterest. These apps make use of grids, colors, lights, sound effects, problem solving, difficulty levels and other approaches in the form of games that stimulate the brain. This is what allows the injured brain to rely on other healthy areas in the brain to take over the impaired function. New cell growth is stimulated and the activities that encourage repeated practice help to develop and increase memory and critical thinking skills. By joining in the sharing with us at TryMunity, there is no limit to learning new ways to overcome a disability.

 

NCHPAD articles:

http://www.nchpad.org/98/5689/Acquired~Brain~Injury

http://www.nchpad.org/360/2050/Defining~Secondary~Conditions~for~People~with~Disabilities

http://www.nchpad.org/787/4169/Emotional~Eating~~Exploring~the~Hunger~Inside

http://www.nchpad.org/Directories/Organizations/2467/Brain~Injury~Association~of~Minnesota

 

Author: Shelly Duell



  • bobl07

    It is so incredible what todays technology can do for everyone, especially for people with disabilities. Who knows what will happen in 5 years maybe even 5 months. The most important message is to stay as active as you can.