Strategies for Talking with a Person with a TBI or Concussion
When someone has suffered any type of head injury, one of the most important things you need to do is communicate with that person. It can also be one of the most difficult things to do, as the nature of the injury can make thinking, speaking, concentration and articulation a challenge. Here are some simple recommendations that may help improve your communication with a loved one who has experienced a bump or blow to the head.
- Make certain they can see you when you talk—Visual cues can be extremely helpful. Stand or sit face-to-face, no more than about five feet away. Hand or facial gestures that help communicate your questions or statements can be particularly effective.
- Eliminate other input—Turn off televisions, radios or other devices that can be distracting. Make certain they are in a comfortable position, so they’re not fidgeting or trying to ease their discomfort when you are talking to them.
- Get their attention before you start talking—Be sure they are paying attention to you. When you speak, talk slowly. Avoid complicated subjects, using yes or no questions, if possible. Resist the urge to increase the volume of your voice—one of the symptoms of concussion or traumatic brain injury is an increased sensitivity to sound or noise.
- Be willing to have periodic conversations about individual topics. Don’t discuss more than one subject at a time. Use complete sentences and let the person process your statements or questions before you talk again. Don’t be afraid to repeat something, but be patient. It may take some time for them to pull everything together.
- Be respectful—Don’t assume that, because they are having challenges verbalizing, that they don’t understand everything you are saying, even if you’re not speaking directly to them.
- Pay attention to how they hold and move their bodies. What are their facial expressions? Do they seem fearful, anxious, angry, happy, sad or otherwise?
Contact Us to Set Up an Appointment
At Advantage Healthcare Systems, we have extensive experience working successfully with individuals who suffer any type of personal injury. Call us toll-free at 1-877-487-8289 or fill out the form provided below to schedule an assessment. We offer locations across Texas, including Fort Worth, Dallas and San Antonio.