The Importance of a Home Health Care Nurse for TBI
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) always happens without warning. It usually occurs in things like car accidents or slipping in the shower and striking the wall. In many cases, a person who suffers a traumatic brain injury recovers fully or enough to be able to function on their own. Sadly, in some cases of traumatic brain injury patients never regain the ability that was lost, and their symptoms deteriorate with time. Everyday activities like tying shoelaces, bathing, even walking can become arduous tasks. The suddenness of a TBI does not give patients or their loved ones time to adjust to the change of life, it shocks them and thrust forward a whole host of new responsibilities. A husband or wife may be forced to quit their job or find one with fewer hours in order to care for their spouse.
Parents who had reached retirement age may find themselves caring for an adult child who has been moved back into their home. Maybe the TBI patient is being placed in a facility that can provide care because, despite your best efforts, you can’t do it alone. In scenarios such as these, TBI is cruel to both the sufferer and family. With that in mind, the importance of a home healthcare nurse to a TBI patient and their loved ones is vital. Let’s take a look at what TBI is and some ways a home healthcare nurse can alleviate some of the burdens from a family dealing with it.
What is TBI?
TBI occurs when something such as a blow to the head from an object, striking the head against a hard object, or a jarring of the brain from being shook in something like a car crash, an object penetrating the brain such as a bullet or an explosion close enough to affect the brain; all of these can cause structural damage. Structural damage is done to the brain which causes effects as mild as headaches to severe conditions such as dementia and loss of mobility.
How can a Home Healthcare Nurse Help Patients with TBI and Their Families?
If a TBI sufferer needs the assistance of a home healthcare nurse if they have any of the following:
- A loss of motor skills
- Severely Impaired cognitive function
- Severely impaired respiratory function
- The inability to feed themselves
In these scenarios the TBI sufferers are disabled to the level where self-care is no longer an option, a home health nurse can be invaluable. Taking vital signs and monitoring the patient are basic, but crucial functions of what a home healthcare nurse can do for patients and their families. They can help patients in daily minor physical therapy like standing up, or movement of arms and legs. In addition, a home healthcare nurse can see potential problems like slip and fall hazards and can recommend some ways to make the patients home safer. A home healthcare nurse has the training to act as the first line of defense. They will recognize when a TBI patient’s symptoms are worsening and will advise the patient’s loved ones to take them to their physician or to the hospital. While not specifically what a home health care nurse does, they may help out with a patient’s day to day needs. If a family needs assistance with things like bathing a TBI patient, feeding them, getting them in and out of bed, or any other basic need; these needs would fall under the duties of a home health aide. Home health aides can work hand in hand with a home health nurse to ensure that the TBI patient receives the best care possible.
So, if you have a loved one who suffers from TBI and you feel that the burden has become too much for you, a home healthcare nurse can lighten some of the stress of care from you and your family.