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Communicating With A Brain Injury Patient



Dealing with a traumatic brain injury can be very difficult. One of the most challenging aspects of having such injuries is that the cognitive functions of the brain are impaired. This means that speaking and articulating thoughts is very hard. For a brain injury patient suffering from TBI, it could lead to an extended communication disorder.


Such conditions could, in turn, lead to social isolation and even depression! It can also seriously affect social contacts and relationships. This is why it’s very important for the people around the brain injury patient to communicate with ease and understanding. We must understand that having such communication disorder does not mean that they are anyway different or less deserving of, or capable of making social connections.



What Kind of Problems Arise?


Traumatic brain injury and concussions can lead to severe cognitive and communication issues among brain injury patients. The severity of the problems may vary depending upon the individual’s personality, preinjury abilities, societal position and severity of the brain damage.

There can be three main types of communication problem that arise. These are:

· Language impairment (aphasia) - Such problems are also commonly referred to as dysphasia. It includes problems with understanding language and expressing thoughts through language. Brain injury patients suffering from aphasia also face problems with reading and writing.

· Difficulties in speech - Brain injury may also lead to disorders in speech and impaired communication.

· Difficulties in cognitive communication - It covers problems with the problems in cognitive difficulties including memory impairment, attention difficulties, poor social skills, and fatigue.



Communicating With A Brain Injury Patient


Up until now, we’ve discussed what problems a brain injury patient might encounter. But, how should you communicate with such a person? Don’t worry, let’s go through the general guidelines for communicating with a brain injury patient.


Before communicating with a person suffering from traumatic brain injury or brain concussions, you will have to maintain certain aspects to benefit the conversation. Let’s go through some of the tips you should take into account!

  1. Make face contact during conversations.

  2. While talking, make sure that they are in a comfortable position.

  3. Eliminate sources of distraction.

  4. Speak slowly and clearly.

  5. Talk about subjects they’re interested in.

  6. If they don’t understand, repeat or rephrase!

  7. Give them time to digest the conversation, don’t rush!

  8. Use gestures or facial expressions to help you communicate.

  9. Pay attention to their body movement and facial expressions.

  10. Treat them with respect and hear what they have to say.

  11. Allow them to communicate as well.

The Bottom Line


Communicating with a brain injury patient can be very difficult. They're already facing severe cognitive and communications problem, and it is important that you make things easier for them. This is why effective communication with brain injury patients is vital.

For starters, you must speak slowly and clearly while the patient is in a comfortable position. You should also make face contact and use gestures and facial expressions to help the communication.

Giving a chance for them to speak out and helping out the conversation can truly empower such people suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI). And by empowering them, we can make the world a better place for them!

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