Caring for someone with a Brain Injury

Being a caregiver is a thankless job at the worst of times, but it can be an extremely rewarding experience, and one which is profoundly important to a person with a Traumatic Brain Injury.
I have cared for both my Dad - who had Motor Neurone Disease - and my Mum - who has Parkinson's, Dementia and side effects from numerous small strokes.

Although there were times that it was hard, frustrating and heartbreaking, the closeness and just being able to do 'something' for someone I cared for, easily eliminated any negative experience.

For me it came down to only a few questions: 
  • If I don't look after them, who will?
  • Will a paid carer be able to care for them in the way I can?
  • For that matter, in the way I want them to be cared for?
  • Who will provide the emotional support when they are in pain/feeling overwhelmed?
  • If this is all the time I have left with them, do I want to regret not giving up a small portion of my life when they needed me? 
  • What will it mean to my parents to be cared for by me, instead of someone they don't know?
That may sound very saintly and kumbaya, but believe me, it wasn't quite that simple. I am human, and a brain-injured human at that! The relationships I had with my parents were also very human. We didn't always see eye to eye, we fought, we cried, and at times, I had to leave the house to pull myself together such was my frustration or grief. It was definately not all smooth sailing, and holding hands. It was tough graft held together with the most fragile of glues. 

It is definately not a decision to take lightly. As it was, after six or seven years, I couldn't keep going. I had reached my limit. My Mum now has the most wonderful carer, funded by the Auckland District Health Board, and everyone - my Mum, me and the carer - couldn't be happier with the arrangement. 


The 'Carer Information' section of our site offers information on what help is available, which agencies to contact, information about funding and entitlements and practical resources for anyone who is looking at being a caregiver. To view this information, click here.


The following fact sheets are great and were developed by Headway, UK for carers. They are attached and able to be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
  1. The early stages after brain injury
  2. Children's emotional reactions and how to help
  3. Leaving hospital
  4. Rehabilitation and continuing care
  5. Becoming a carer
  6. Carer's assessment check-list
  7. Relationships
  8. Caring for yourself
  9. Young carers
  10. Further reading
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Kate Johns,
Feb 9, 2012, 10:11 PM
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Kate Johns,
Feb 9, 2012, 10:05 PM
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Kate Johns,
Feb 9, 2012, 10:09 PM
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Kate Johns,
Feb 9, 2012, 10:09 PM
Ċ
Kate Johns,
Feb 9, 2012, 10:10 PM
Ċ
Kate Johns,
Feb 9, 2012, 10:10 PM
Ċ
Kate Johns,
Feb 9, 2012, 10:11 PM
Ċ
Kate Johns,
Feb 9, 2012, 10:11 PM
Ċ
Kate Johns,
Feb 9, 2012, 10:11 PM
Ċ
Kate Johns,
Feb 9, 2012, 10:11 PM
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