Not only does a traumatic brain injury (TBI) forever change the life of the victim, it also causes serious damage to the health and lives of the victim’s family. The TBI victim is not the same person which causes profound stress to the care giving family. The stress is constant and there is usually no hope for improvement.
The TBI victim has extensive cognitive, emotional and behavioral problems. These problems result in a grim life for the family caregiver. Studies show:
- A divorce rate of 84% for TBI couples
- All or most of the family savings gets consumed
- Compromised immune system for up to three years after caregiving ends
- An increased risk of developing a chronic illness.
- Major depression diagnoses for nearly 50% of caregivers.
- Premature aging, taking as much as 10 years off a caregivers’ life.
When a wrongdoer has caused a TBI, the caregiver victim should also be compensated. While these are the results of scientific studies, how does a caregiver demonstrate her injury to a jury? Some steps to document the impact:
- Start a diary of events. While the family members may feel disloyal about recording negative behaviors, the diary is necessary to help others understand the depth and breadth of the loss.
- Seek respite services to relieve the stress of caregiving.
- Seek emotional support through participating in support groups or counselling with a psychotherapist.