Something as seemingly harmless as a bump to the head can cause Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, and it is estimated that at least 1.7 million people a year sustain this type of injury, most commonly related to car accidents. Even mild whiplash can slam the brain around inside the skull, causing temporal lobe damage and memory problems.
If you or a loved one have sustained a TBI and are experiencing memory issues, be sure to seek help from a medical professional. Below, we’ve also shared some things you can do to help remember important information and keep your life running as smoothly as possible.
Get Professional Help
In addition to working with a doctor, there are Memory Specialists who can work with you one-on-one to determine the best memory-assisting strategies for your particular injury or personality type. Generally, a Memory Specialist will have 10+ different strategies for you to try out, and you will narrow it down to the most helpful few.
As with any other sort of learning, some people do better visually, some verbally and some aurally. With the help of a trained professional you can figure out what your recall-style is faster and use the recommended methods.
Make Daily Lists
Also helpful for individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder, lists are a great way to help people with Traumatic Brain Injuries stay focused on the day’s goals and keep track of what needs to be done. Post-It Notes are extremely helpful as well.
Get into the habit of filling out a daily to-do list every morning, either via Dry Erase board on your refrigerator or wall, or on a paper note pad made especially for this purpose. It is also important to keep your daily to-do list sitting somewhere prominent in your home, in an area you walk past multiple times a day, if possible.
Use a Monthly Planner
A little book with an open view of each month can help you remember appointments ahead of time so you don’t miss them. There are also daily planners, but for maximum remembrance, seeing the entire month mapped out can be a more efficient memory aid because every time you look at the month ahead, you are being reminded of all the month’s upcoming appointments and commitments, rather than just one day at a time.
One Task at a Time
Sometimes those with memory problems will walk away from something they’re doing and move onto something else; forgetting they never finished the last task. This habit can cause the TBI sufferer to live in a frustrating rotation of never-ending chores.
To combat this annoying occurrence, get into the habit of finishing everything you start before you allow yourself to walk away for any reason. Work on focusing until the task at hand is done. Life is full of interruptions, but you can at least control the self-induced distractions until you complete your goals.
Take Care of Your Brain
Proper nutrition and adequate sleep are important for the good health of anyone, but especially important for those with TBI. Memory suffers in those without Traumatic Brain Injury when they haven’t gotten enough sleep, so for those with TBI, it can drastically multiply the negative effects you’re already experiencing.
A well-rounded diet (full of vegetables, vitamins and minerals, including Omega-3 supplements) is recommended for those with TBI, as is 8.5 hours of sleep a night. It’s especially important for you to keep your brain as strong as possible to reduce your symptoms and strengthen memory.
Hopefully the above tips can help reduce the debilitating effects of memory loss and Traumatic Brain Injury by helping those affected remember daily goals and appointments more efficiently. Remember to take breaks if you’re feeling overwhelmed, and write down everything you can to give your brain a chance to rest. And don’t forget about technology: a personal assistant or cell phone can be extremely useful for retaining important information.
Frank Roberts writes for Auto Accident Attorney Info, a site specializing in consumer information on auto accidents and injuries including traumatic brain injuries