Coping with the Cognitive Challenges of Traumatic Brain Injuries in Arizona

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a leading cause of disability in Arizona. Even mild TBIs can result in significant cognitive impairments that impact a person’s ability to function in daily life. Common cognitive challenges following a TBI include problems with attention, memory, processing speed, and executive functioning skills like planning and problem-solving. Learning to cope with these cognitive deficits is crucial for recovering as much independence as possible.

Get Proper Medical Care and Rehabilitation

The first step is to seek prompt emergency medical care after any head injury and follow up with a neurologist or rehabilitation physician. Undergoing comprehensive rehabilitation tailored to your specific deficits can help strengthen cognitive skills and teach compensatory strategies. In Arizona, many leading rehabilitation hospitals and outpatient clinics specialize in TBI recovery. Don’t hesitate to advocate for the services you need.

Utilize Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapies

Cognitive rehabilitation utilizes repetitive drills and exercises, often computer-based, to rebuild cognitive skills. Attention process training helps improve focused, sustained, and divided attention. Memory strategy training, like visual imagery and association techniques, aids memory encoding and retrieval. These therapies are offered by speech therapists, neuropsychologists, and occupational therapists. Many rehabilitation centers in Arizona offer cognitive rehabilitation programs.

Adopt Compensatory Strategies and Environmental Modifications

Compensatory techniques and lifestyle changes can help bypass cognitive limitations. Using a planner or calendar, setting phone reminders, making lists, and writing notes all aid memory. Removing clutter, noise and distractions creates a brain-friendly environment. Take things slow and break tasks into smaller steps. Don’t take on too many responsibilities at once. Seek support from caregivers, friends, and family when needed.

Join a Brain Injury Support Group

Connecting with other TBI survivors provides social support and inspiration. Groups like the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona offer education, advocacy, and support programs across the state. Attendees learn coping tips from each other and see they are not alone in facing cognitive challenges. Online support groups allow connecting remotely. Support groups for caregivers are also available.

Consider Cognitive Function Enhancing Medications or Supplements

Certain prescription medications and over-the-counter supplements may enhance cognitive functioning after a TBI. Talk to your doctor about whether stimulant medications, like those used for ADHD, may help with attention, memory, or alertness. Some research shows supplements like fish oil, ginseng, ginkgo biloba or phosphatidylserine may also provide mild cognitive benefits. But always consult your physician first before trying any pills to avoid negative interactions.

Get Plenty of Rest and Live a Healthy Lifestyle

Don’t underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep, daily exercise, stress management and healthy eating for supporting cognitive recovery and overall wellbeing. Brains work better when well-rested and fueled properly. Make time for fun hobbies and social activities too. Pace yourself and listen to your mind and body’s needs. Don’t overschedule or overexert.

Coping with cognitive deficits requires utilizing all available resources, being patient with your progress, and not being afraid to ask for help. With the right lifestyle changes, therapies, and support, significant improvements in functioning are possible. Partners, caregivers, and family should educate themselves on cognitive challenges too, so they can provide effective assistance.

There is hope for regaining a fulfilling, productive life after a traumatic brain injury, but if your TBI was caused by someone’s negligence, don’t be afraid to ask for legal advice. Monge & Associates is here to help.

We have offices in 32 locations and 19 states, including Arizona, Illinois and Iowa.

Call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597.