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Exercise There are few health experts, if any, who would argue that an otherwise healthy individual shouldn’t exercise. Under a physician’s guidance, exercise can alleviate stress, improve your health, help your self-esteem, and give you a sense that you are accomplishing something positive. The latter benefit may be most relevant for caregivers who are feeling helpless.

Volunteer Your Time There is probably nothing more valuable than helping others without expecting anything in return. If for whatever reason you cannot help your loved one to the extent that you desire, you can volunteer your time to do something on a more philanthropic level. This helps others lets you feel useful and needed. You may also help the patient indirectly by volunteering for a brain injury-related cause.

Use Lists, Computers, Timers and Post-it Notes Brain-injured or not, when people are stressed, memory often suffers. Instead of trying to force yourself to remember something. Write everything down. This way you can help clear your head. Take advantage of computer technology for creating journals, to-do lists, and electronic reminders. You will be amazed at how relieved you will be that you do not have to remember a dozen or more items. Your mind will be more available for more important things, like being mentally and emotionally available for yourself and others.

CHAPTER SIX: FINANCIAL ISSUES

“We used up all our savings and had to sell our house because we could no longer pay the monthly mortgage. My wife could not work full-time because she was my caregiver. It was when we contacted an attorney and learned about our options that things turned around.”

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    T.G., Brain-injury Survivor

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