March is Brain Injury Awareness Month!
Our brain controls everything we do, say, think and feel. When an individual suffers a brain injury, the effects can be mild or devastating, affecting not just the individual, but his/her family and loved ones.
The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has developed the following definitions regarding brain injuries:
“A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of such an injury may range from “mild”, (I.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to “severe”, (I.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury). A TBI can result in short or long-term problems with independent function.
Acquired brain injury (ABI) is an injury to the brain that is not hereditary, congenital or degenerative. Acquired brain injuries are caused by some medical conditions, including strokes, encephalitis, aneurysms, anoxia (I.e., lack of oxygen during surgery, drug overdose, or near drowning), metabolic disorders, meningitis, or brain tumors”.
According to the Brain Injury Association of America, despite the cause, a brain injury may result in an impairment of cognitive abilities, physical functioning, and/or disturbance of behavioral or emotional functioning. Cognitive issues may include slowed ability to process information as it is received, memory loss, lack of initiation, problems concentrating, organizational difficulties, and poor judgment. Physical issues can include fatigue, headaches, balance issues, muscle spasticity, and seizures. Emotional/behavioral issues can include mood swings, anxiety, agitation, impulsivity, and depression. All or some of these issues may be present.
Brain injury affects not only the individual but can have lasting effects on families and communities. Roles and relationships change and the financial ramifications may be extensive. Our certified nurse life care planners are ready to assist you with navigating our complex healthcare system or developing a lifetime plan of care for your client outlining all of his/her future care needs.