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Choosing a Brain Injury Treatment Clinic

When your loved one experiences a brain injury, it’s natural to want to get them help quickly. But before you decide on a TBI clinic, you need to ask some important questions. Not all acute brain injury rehabilitation is the same.

After all, the decision will make all the difference in your loved one’s recovery. In fact, it’s one of the most important decisions that loved ones make for their survivor’s future. 

Here at Moody Neurorehabilitation, we put together this list of 5 crucial questions anyone should ask when choosing a brain injury treatment clinic. This list can help survivors and their families find brain injury rehab in Houston, or outside of the Houston area.

5 Crucial Questions For Choosing An Acute Brain Injury Rehabilitation Clinic

After answering these 5 questions, you will be ready to choose the best acute brain injury rehabilitation center for your survivor.

1. What Is Their Mission?

The goal of any acute brain injury rehabilitation center should be to achieve the best possible outcome for patients and their families. So, their mission should focus on these:

  • Personalized care
  • Re-entering the community
  • Maximizing quality of life

2. What Types Of Brain Injuries Are Treated?

Next, check to see if the TBI clinic treats injuries similar to the one you’re seeking treatment for. And, ask about the typical age of their patients. This is normally on the admissions page of their website.

Then, make a list of the acute brain injury rehabilitation centers that match your survivor’s injury type and age. 

3. Do They Have Qualified Staff?

Importantly, check the qualifications of the TBI clinic staff. A good team is key to your survivor’s recovery. Check if they have the following on staff:

  • A board certified physician
  • A neuropsychologist
  • Physical, occupational, speech, and vocational therapists
  • Nursing staff, available daily

4. What Programs And Services Are Offered?

There are a variety of different types of programs for acute brain injury rehabilitation, including:

  • Residential 
  • Outpatient
  • Long-term supported living
  • Respite care

Your injured loved-one might need these different programs at different points in their recovery. So, it’s helpful to have a TBI clinic that offers each of the above programs.

In addition, every TBI clinic you consider should offer the following services:

  • Clinical assessments that evaluate your survivor’s physical, cognitive, communicative, emotional, behavioral, and social impairments
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Vocational therapy
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Cognitive rehabilitation
  • Counseling services
  • Recreational therapy

Some acute brain injury rehabilitation centers also offer additional services that set them apart from others, such as:

Moody offers these services at our Galveston and Lubbock locations for brain injury rehab. 

5. What Is The Facility Like?

After making a list of potential matches, the next step is to take a tour of the facility

It may be tempting to just choose a facility that is closest to your home. But, it’s better for patient recovery to choose based on what a facility offers.   

While on your tour, note how clean the space is, the professionalism of the staff, and how content the patients and families seem. Also ask about any religious or cultural accommodations that your survivor needs, such as:

  • Menu selections
  • Access to places of worship
  • Use of a translator 

Finally, see how updated and innovative the facility is. For example, ask about any use of robotics, computer-based simulation, or ongoing research. Picking a facility with updated tech can help maximize your survivor’s therapeutic gains. 

Learn more about our facilities here. 

10 Things I Wish People Knew About Brain Injuries

It is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and we want to share with you 10 things about brain injuries that some may be unaware about.

  1. Brain Injury is one of the most common disabling conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 4.5% of the US population is living with a brain injury!
  2. Many people tend to associate brain injury with military service or athletic activities. However, some of the most common ways people suffer brain injuries are falls, vehicle accidents and strokes.
  3. The brain controls our entire body so a brain injury can influence every part of a survivor’s life. Our brain controls our entire lived experience. A brain injury can impact everything from memory to walking to personality and everything in between. 
  4. A brain injury is not the same as being developmentally disabled or “being a child”. A person with a brain injury may have many significant post-injury changes but that does not mean the person has lost their knowledge and wisdom or the right to be respected.
  5. Rehabilitation works! Research shows that the best recovery results do not come from a brain injury survivor lying around in a bed for a long time but from being actively involved in a rehabilitation program such as at Moody Neuro.
  6. Adaptations matter! Often a brain injury survivor with significant deficits can perform at a level equal to other people with the right equipment and/or techniques.
  7. Recovery from a serious brain injury does not mirror a TV show recovery. On TV, a person can be severely injured in the beginning of the show and all better by the end of the show. In reality, recovery from a serious brain injury is a time and energy-intensive process.
  8. A brain injury can be a new start at a better life. Many of our former Moody patients used their brain injury experience as a jumping off point for healthier and more successful lives than pre-injury!
  9. There are many successful brain injury survivors. For instance, President Joe Biden and “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke are aneurysm survivors. Actor Jackie Chan survived a traumatic brain injury and singer Bret Michaels survived a stroke. Former President Abraham Lincoln and former slave-turned abolitionist Harriet Tubman both survived serious traumatic brain injuries in their youth to become among the most influential people in US history!
  10. One of the most important things that a brain injury survivor needs is the love and support of family and friends. Survivors need that love and support to carry them through the emotional ups and downs of brain injury recovery. No person is an island, and no survivor can do it alone!

Black History Month – Celebrating Brain Injury Heroes

February is Black History Month!  As we celebrate the contributions that African Americans have made at all levels for our country, let’s take some time to celebrate important African-American brain injury heroes. 

Harriet Tubman suffered a severe traumatic brain injury as a young child.

Harriet Tubman was one of the conductors of the Underground Railroad. A former slave herself, she helped slaves escape from the South to freedom.  During the Civil War, she joined the Union army, even leading a US army expedition. Tubman was later a vocal proponent of the women’s right to vote. 

Many people do not realize that as a youth, she suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. She was hit in the head with a weight that an overseer threw at another slave, hitting Tubman. She was unconscious for several days.  Following this injury, she had severe headaches, narcolepsy, and seizures.  Despite her brain injury symptoms, she became a hero for American freedom.

Louis Tompkins Wright was both a medical and civil rights pioneer.  Born in 1891, in segregationist Georgia, he fought significant prejudice to gain admission to Harvard Medical School. He was the first African-American doctor at Harlem Hospital, later becoming President of the Hospital. Wright was also the first African-American NYPD surgeon. He was a civil rights leader, serving as Chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors. He was an innovator both in diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of medical ailments, including inventing a brace for transporting patients with cervical vertebrae injuries. He was well-recognized as an expert on brain injuries and wrote influential research on the topic. Despite great obstacles, Wright was an important figure in both medical and civil rights worlds, including contributing greatly to the knowledge of brain injuries.

Harry Carson was one of the greatest football players in the history of the National Football League. He captained the New York Giants to Super Bowl victory and is a member of the Hall of Fame. Carson was also one of the first athletes to openly talk about brain injuries in football, bravely sharing his story with Sports Illustrated in 1998, long before there was any serious recognition of the potential brain injury dangers of playing football. He has advocated with Congress and through the Brain Injury Association of America to raise brain injury awareness. Carson has used his leadership, experience, and knowledge to help others receive necessary help.

These are just a few of the many African-American brain injury heroes!

Presidential Success After a Brain Injury

Some brain injury survivors and their families make a common mistake.  They view the brain injury event as an ending. Life as they know it is over and that there is no hope for success in the future. This is most certainly not the case. Many survivors of serious brain injuries later had amazing successes. One of the prominent success stories that will soon be taking center stage is President-elect Joe Biden. 

In 1988, Joe Biden was experiencing neck pains and headaches. He did not know it then but soon his life would change due to aneurysms. An aneurysm is a weak spot on an artery which can lead the artery to break. In his case, the artery broke in his brain. It is a form of a stroke which has a high fatality rate.

Following a February speech in New York, Biden passed out in his hotel.  He was unconscious for five hours. He later required two brain surgeries for aneurysms, one which had already broken and another which had the potential to break. The surgeries saved his life. He initially had common physical effects of stroke such as a facial droop. Following 6 months of recovery, he was cleared to return to work. The aneurysm changed how Biden viewed his daily activities. Now, more than 30 years later, he will soon be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States of America.

However, Joe Biden is not the first brain injury survivor to be elected US President. Few people know that Abraham Lincoln had a serious brain injury as a youth. When he was just 10 years old, he was at a mill with his horse to grind food. At one point he whipped his horse and the horse kicked him in the head. Lincoln was left unconscious. Many of his family and friends feared that he would die until he regained consciousness the following day. Despite this incident, he became one of the most important figures in US history.

At Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute, many of our patients have reached great heights following their injuries. We have had the pleasure of watching our patients graduate from colleges and achieve work successes. Several of our patients later got married and started families. 

A brain injury does not have to be the end of a life journey. Often, it may just be one chapter to a successful life story.

Family Caregivers: Why They Are Important During Recovery From Traumatic Brain Injury

There are many tools that help survivors recover from their traumatic brain injury. But one of the most important tools for recovery is something no hospital in the world can offer: family caregivers.

Being familiar with a survivor’s personality and habits, before the injury occurred, gives family caregivers a unique advantage to care for a traumatic brain injury. 

Not only do family members offer elevated comfort and support, but they are also more likely to notice nuances in behavior that may be missed by medical professionals. 

Whether it’s the cadence in which they speak, the swagger in their step, or the deep exhales of frustration… Having a caregiver who recognizes these characteristics can drastically influence the recovery process.

These subtle changes may be a temporary side effect or could be a sign of something much more serious. What’s important is they notice, track, and bring these changes to the doctor’s attention. The sooner their doctor is made aware of differences in behavior, personality, or functionality, the sooner the doctor can make any adjustments to prescriptions (and overall treatment if needed).

The Importance Of Family Caregivers

There are 3 reasons why family caregivers are important to those recovering from a traumatic brain injury.

They Lessen Survivors’ Shock

Family caregivers often experience shock when they first hear that their family member incurred a traumatic brain injury. On the other side, survivors are probably experiencing exactly the same feeling.

Survivors are reminded of their traumatic brain injury constantly throughout each day. A drastic change to daily life is difficult for survivors. Not being able to remember something, or do certain things, may seem like a hopefully short term side effect to a caregiver. 

To a survivor, not being able to accomplish these seemingly “easy” tasks can be infuriating and isolating. 

The waves of emotions felt by survivors can change rapidly or extend over long periods of time. All people are different – as are their recoveries. Caregivers witness these highs and lows – often needing to think quickly on their feet. The compassion shown to survivors can be the difference to their day, year, or perhaps even the entire scope of recovery. 

Having a family caregiver by their side to respond to the event can lessen the shock and help everyone feel less alone.

They’re First To Notice Important Symptoms

Sometimes, individuals with a traumatic brain injury can experience late-onset, nonconvulsive seizures. The symptoms are very subtle and can easily be missed by health care professionals, including any of the following:

  • Restless pacing
  • Random, purposeless activity 
  • Complaints of foul odors
  • Greater sensitivity to light and sound
  • Hallucinations

Often, family caregivers are the first to notice these out-of-character behaviors. Catching the symptoms early means that survivors can get evaluated and treated for silent seizures more quickly. 

They Help Survivors Cope

A survivor may not be fully aware of the impact of their injuries until they return home and try to resume old routines. Suddenly, they might have trouble going about their day as they used to. 

For instance, some brain injury survivors find it more difficult to organize and initiate their day to day activities. But family caregivers can help survivors cope with these new challenges by:

  • Organizing spaces at home
  • Providing choices about activities
  • Offering motivation in response to frustration

This means survivors will spend less time fixated on what they can no longer do. Instead, they will focus on coping with their new reality and moving forward with their lives.

Resources For Family Caregivers

It’s no secret that family caregivers take on an enormous load. It’s only natural that these beacons of strength will feel overwhelmed or burnt out at times

As experts in brain rehabilitation, we have witnessed the burden felt by caregivers. We encourage all family caregivers to take advantage of our resources and to make sure they take the time to care for themselves as well.

Join A Support Group

Being in a position to care for a loved one comes with its own challenges. Caregivers often feel high levels of stress while simultaneously putting on a brave comforting face for those in their care. This is no easy feat. 

It is important for caregivers to also care for themselves and know that they are not alone. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Whether your motivation for self-care is to help yourself cope or to help you be a better caregiver, you must remember to replenish your own resources to continue providing the care you give. Support groups are an excellent resource to help you. 

Communicating with others facing similar struggles and learning new coping skills can be a rewarding experience that helps caregivers feel stronger and better prepared for the tasks at hand.

Connect With Others Over Social Media

Connecting with others can feel daunting for a new or overextended caregiver. Especially in this time of quarantining, meeting with new people may not be an option for everyone. 

Social media is a powerful resource for anyone looking to connect with a niche group of people. A great place to start connecting virtually is through Moody Neuro’s Instagram and Facebook pages. 

Seek Out Resources

Stay connected through the Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute blog. Both survivors and caregivers benefit from reading our blogs. 

We offer a unique perspective to help you better understand what your survivor is going through internally. Nuances in behavior patterns could be a sign of a deeper issue. Not only is their body and mind recovering, but their sense of identity may be challenged due to depression and other unfortunate side effects of a traumatic brain injury. 

Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge offered in our blogs.

Family Caregivers Change The World

Family caregiving can make a huge difference in the lives of so many survivors. In fact, Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute was formed out of the love of a father for his son. After his son Russell’s accident, which resulted in a traumatic brain injury, Robert L. Moody, Sr. recognized a need for brain injury rehabilitation resources. 

Today, Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute has four Texas locations. Each patient receives the highest level of quality care. 

The partnership to recovery between medical professionals and family caregivers is unparalleled. It is not always an easy road, but it can be a crucial part of a loved one’s recovery. 

Taking Care of Yourself While Caring For Your Loved One

Caregiving can be a tough, yet amazingly rewarding role.  Caregivers are a vital part of the success of brain injury survivors.  Long after formal rehabilitation is over, caregivers fill roles such as nurse, advocate, coach, and therapy-aide.  Often, caregivers invest so much of themselves to help their loved ones, that they forget to care of themselves.  Research shows that caregivers are often under high levels of stress and are more susceptible to illness.  So, in honor of National Caregivers Month, here are a few suggestions on how caregivers can take better care of themselves!


Recognize your limits since no person is truly a Superman or Superwoman.  Caregivers need to be reasonable about what they can honestly do and not expect from themselves the impossible.  Expecting yourself to be able to do everything and anything, at all times, is a formula for emotional and physical burnout.  Keep your to-do lists short and realistic. 

Build a network of family and friends who can help you out.  Friends and family are often willing to help with everything from being a supportive ear in times of need to spending time with the survivor so you can attend to other important issues.  Remember, it is healthy to ask for help!

Find a community through brain injury/stroke organizations and support groups.  There are many great organizations such as the Brain Injury Association of America and American Stroke Association that can provide information, advice, and support throughout this journey. For caregivers or family members staying onsite at our Moody Neuro Galveston facility, we hold monthly family support groups.

Utilize respite services for a well-deserved break.  Respite services allow caregivers to temporarily place the brain injury survivor in the hands of health-care professionals so the survivor can be well-taken care of while the caregiver is away.  Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute’s TideWay (Galveston) and WestWay (Lubbock) facilities offer wonderful respite services.


Take care of your health because your health matters!  Too often, a caregiver will ignore their own doctors’ appointments and other health issues in the name of taking care of a loved one.  This puts the caregiver at risk for their own health emergencies.  Caregivers need to make sure that not only is the brain injury survivor attending appointments, taking medication, etc., but that the caregivers are doing so as well.  Your health includes ensuring that you get adequate sleep and nutrition.  Your body needs the proper fuel and rest to thrive.  Your health also includes having your emotional needs addressed, which may be through beginning your own personal counseling/psychotherapy to help cope with this journey.

Learn relaxation techniques that can help you deal with everyday stress.  Simple techniques such as relaxed breathing and guided imagery can help with managing the daily stress of caregiving.  Many of these techniques are a standard part of personal counseling/psychotherapy.  Some techniques are on apps (often free) that you can download to your phone.

Acknowledge positive actions that you do every day.  At the end of each day, identify 2-3 things that you did well, such as successfully paid the bills, cooked a good dinner, or diffused a problematic situation.  Especially in times of stress, it is vital to acknowledge the positive actions you have personally taken and celebrate your good work.  These positive actions do not necessarily have to differ from day to day. For instance, you may have made fantastic Italian meals multiple times in the week.  Each of these meals are worthy of notice.  The most important thing is to recognize your good work every single day.

Pick a hobby or interest outside of caregiving.  For your emotional and physical health, it is crucial that you cultivate a personal hobby or interest.  Whether it be gardening, reading, meditation, an exercise routine, or any other healthy activity, you should have a hobby or interest truly dedicated to you.

Reconnect with your spirituality and rebuild your spiritual connections.  The pressure and rush of caregiving can leave spiritually-minded caregivers disconnected from this valuable resource.  Difficult times are the most important times to reconnect to your spiritual foundations.  This can include talking to your spiritual leader, reading spiritual books, and attending services. 

Remember, to be a great caregiver for someone else, you also have to take great care of yourself!

Learn more about brain injury treatment services at Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute! Visit us at www.moodyneuro.org

Talking About Your Injury

One of the more stressful aspects of the injury experience is deciding how to answer questions about the injury experience. This can be particularly stressful as many survivors find themselves receiving a barrage of questions every time they return to familiar situations. Friends at work have questions, customers have questions, old high school classmates have questions, etc. For many survivors, it seems that they have been suddenly placed in an unfamiliar spotlight. Let’s go over some general ideas and some specific suggestions when talking about your injury.

First, let’s review some general ideas. Many survivors initially think that few people know about their injury. After all, if the survivors did not tell others, how would they know? The reality is usually different. Sometimes, the injury event was on the news. For instance, if a survivor was in a major car accident or shooting, it generally made the news. Also, following an injury, family members may make prayer requests through social media or religious institutions. In this case, everyone who is connected via social media or anyone is part of the religions institution is aware of the injury event. Moreover, a brain injury is a big piece of news. Once one person hears about it, they are likely to “share the news” with friends from work, school or other social environments. Overall, information often makes the rounds to people you know quite quickly. However, the information is often piecemeal and occasionally, inaccurate.

With this in mind, the guiding principle when talking to others about your injury should that you give honest information in a manner that will engender others to have appropriate confidence in you. In some cases, people may be truly confused or concerned how you are doing and are using questions as a sort of gauge of health. The better you handle the situation, the more likely the other person will walk away with confidence in you.

Here are a few pieces of advice regarding talking about your injury:

  1. Always keep in mind who the person is that you are speaking with. For instance, is this a friend or an acquaintance? Is this person trustworthy to keep information private or likely to share it with everyone? Do I have a personal relationship or a professional relationship with this person? These factors will influence what you will share (or not share) with the other person.
  2. Whenever possible, keep information short and with limited detail. Remember, once you have said something, you cannot take back the information and the person you are speaking with may share that information with many others. Also, the less details you give, the less opportunity you are giving the other person to ask probing, sometimes uncomfortable, questions.
  3. Be sure to have a good exit/”no thank you” line. Not everyone has a right to your information and there are times you will not want to talk about your injury. A good exit line usually involves saying something nice, making your request and ending with something nice. For example: “Thank you for your concern but I really don’t enjoy talking about my recent health issues. However, I really appreciate that you cared so much to check on me.”
  4. Always tell the truth. If you tell a lie, there are two possible unpleasant outcomes. One, if the other person finds out that you deliberately lied, this can ruin the relationship. Second, if you tell a lie and the other person realizes the information is wrong but falsely thinks that you actually believe the lie, the other person will assume that you are quite confused.
  5. Be aware that you know a lot of medical/health terms that other people will not know, will not understand or even misunderstand. The average person on the street does not know terms such as “hemiplegia” or ” homonymous hemianopsia .” Using terms that other people do not understand may overwhelm the other person. Also, there are some terms that others may misunderstand. For instance, if you say that you are in “rehabilitation”, other people may falsely assume that you have a substance abuse problem. It may be better to say, “I have been working on my recovery from my injury” or “I have been in injury rehabilitation” rather than saying “I have been in rehabilitation.”
  6. Do not exaggerate or embellish your injury experience. Your story is already powerful and does not need any help. Also, exaggerating or embellishing may make the experience seem worse and cause other people to lose confidence in you.
  7. Be careful about using humor. Many people will not find much humor in your injury experience and may take too much humor to mean that you do not appreciate the seriousness of your injury. Again this could lead to a loss in confidence in your skills.
  8. Always ask questions of the other person. If the other person gets to ask all of the questions and you have to give all of the answers, eventually the friendly conversation may feel like an interrogation. The best way to balance the power is to ask questions of the other person, such as how are things going for their spouse, children or job.
  9. Practice your responses. When you are asked questions, the way to engender confidence is to have great responses. The best method to ensure you have great responses is to practice, out loud, your responses. This way, you can hear how your answers actually sound when coming from your mouth (which often sound different than how you imagine them in your mind) and practice different potential responses. It is often helpful to practice with a trusted loved one and/or to record and review your responses. This will help you find the best and most natural responses to questions.

These were just a few ideas and suggestions when talking to other about your injury. Always remember the key principle of giving honest responses that engender confidence!

Learn about brain injury treatment services at Moody Neurorehabilitation! Visit us at: https://moodyneuro.org/

The Saddest Story

I would like to tell you the saddest story of my professional career. I was working at a major city hospital and one of my jobs was consultation neuropsychological testing. When a patient was admitted to the general medical unit of the hospital but the attending physician suspected the patient also had cognitive deficits (such as memory problems) I was asked to conduct a neuropsychological evaluation. It was in this role that I experienced the saddest case of my career.

One day, I was contacted by a doctor to conduct neuropsychological testing on a patient. The doctor told me the patient’s room and bed number. Naturally, I asked for the patient’s name. The doctor responded that he didn’t have the patient’s name, as the patient had been too confused to give it. He had been found injured at the side of the road and his brain was still in the beginning stages of healing, and the hospital had yet to be contacted by anyone who could provide his name. As I had never encountered such a situation before, I asked how long the patient had been in the hospital. The doctor replied that he had been in the hospital for two weeks. Two weeks had passed without any kind of contact from anyone that might know the patient.

I met with the patient and conducted the neuropsychological evaluation. Although he could respond verbally with excellent clarity, he could not give his name. He was so confused that at one point during testing, his responses indicated that he thought he was in a television show. I completed my testing and wrote up the evaluation. A week later, I asked the referring doctor if we’d finally found out the patient’s name. Three weeks later, we still had no name for the patient. He could not remember his name and no one had come to find him.

The saddest part of this story is not the patient’s severe confusion. I have assessed plenty of patients who struggled with recalling and conveying basic personal information. That is a large part of my role as a professional. The saddest part is that for three weeks, not a single family member, friend or co-worker had come to look for him. It was as if he was a lone deserted island in the middle of an ocean, and no one knew he existed.

There are several important lessons that I take from this story. As an adult, no one has to support you after you are injured. Legally, in most cases everyone can walk away and leave you on your own. Whether it be a spouse, child, other family member or anyone else, no one has to stick around when you are down. For instance, a spouse can choose to file for divorce or a parent can choose not to take responsibility for an adult child. This means that every single person who has decided since your injury to remain in your life has made a personal decision to remain. Every single visit, call, text or even a “like” on social media is completely voluntary. No one is being forced to do this. These individuals are choosing to be a part of your life. This means it is incumbent upon you to appreciate that each individual who has taken the time and effort to be a part of your life has made this decision willingly. Whether it be out of romantic or familial love, a strong friendship connection or any other reason, they have chosen to remain in your life following your injury. That is a big deal and it is important to appreciate their choices.

It is also incumbent upon you to recognize that your relationship with that other person is something that they find valuable even after your injury. If there were no value in the relationship, it would be easy for the other person to leave. So, you still contribute to that valuable relationship. He or she finds something about your relationship exceptional, even though you may not be in the same state of health as before your injury. You are still special and it is vital to appreciate your importance in the relationship.

It has been approximately 15 years since I saw the patient with no name and no loved ones. I hope life has turned out better for him than it was those many years ago. When I see the amazing love and caring that Moody Neuro patients receive from family, friends and co-workers, I think back and remember with sadness that not everyone has such great support. This makes me appreciate the relationships between Moody patients, family, friends and co-workers that much more.

Learn about brain injury treatment services at Moody Neurorehabilitation! Visit us at: https://moodyneuro.org/

What Happened to Your Shoes?

We each have a way that we are used to visualizing ourselves. It is part of our identity. We may comb our hair in a certain way, favor certain styles of clothing or wear certain shades of lipstick. Catching sight of ourselves in a mirror presenting in our typical manner helps reinforce a sense of normalcy. Any change to our usual look or style has potential to cause us some level of discomfort or stress.

After a brain injury, survivors may change their normal looks or styles. Sometimes, this is done for safety or practicality. For instance, certain pairs of sneakers may not supply adequate ankle support for safe ambulation or certain shirts are too hard to put on independently. However, in other cases survivors fall into habits of “dressing down” on a daily basis. Survivors may say to themselves, “I am not going to same places that I used to go, so I will just wear my ugly jogging pants. Who cares, right?” Or, survivors may say to themselves, “Why dress to impress? I have no one to impress. I will just put on a t-shirt and sweatpants every day instead of my favorite shirt and pants.”

This “dressing down” can cause a negative emotional feedback loop. Dressing differently serves as a constant reminder that survivors are not living the same lives as before. Survivors see themselves dressed poorly, which may make them feel badly. Feeling badly causes survivors to be even less inclined to dress nicely so they continue to dress poorly. In turn, seeing themselves dressed poorly on a daily basis may make survivors feel even worse than before. For some survivors, this contributes to a downward spiral in mood.

As “dressing down” makes many survivors feel badly, dressing as they would have prior to their injuries often makes survivors feel better. Even if survivors are not going to the same jobs or activities as before, putting on nicer clothes on a regular basis may help them feel emotionally better. For ladies this often includes putting on make-up or jewelry (as they would have prior to their injuries). The experience of seeing themselves fully “put together” will often improve survivors’ moods. For many people, even without injuries, if they “look like a million dollars” then they “feel like a million dollars.” And when moods are improved, other facets of their lives are often easier and better. So break out your nice wardrobes and feel better!

Learn about brain injury treatment services at Moody Neurorehabilitation! Visit us at: https://moodyneuro.org

Beware Slippery Sidewalks

Slips and falls due to slippery sidewalks and other similar surfaces pose a real concern, whether an individual does or does not have a brain injury. However, the risks of injuring oneself in this way after a brain injury are often more frequent and more serious.

Many brain injury survivors are able to walk after their injuries but find that their balance is not as good as it was prior to an injury. Since these survivors can lose their balance more easily, this puts them at a greater risk to slip and fall on wet, slippery surfaces. Similarly, many survivors do not have reaction times quite as sharp as they did prior to their injuries, so they have more difficulty regaining their balance after a slip. Additionally, many survivor have one side of their bodies that is weaker than the other. When they fall, they tend to fall to the weaker side so there is little useful opportunity to brace themselves for falls. This potentially makes falls far more serious than they would have been prior to brain injuries.

Survivors in wheelchairs are also at risk for accidents due to slippery sidewalks and other surfaces. The wheels on wheelchairs easily slip on wet surfaces. Wheelchairs pick up speed very quickly on wet sidewalk ramps. This contributes to potential accidents and injuries, as it’s difficult for survivors to control their wheelchairs at these higher speeds. Wet leaves and other slippery items on ramps often exacerbate these risks.

Keep the following tips in mind to reduce slips and falls on wet sidewalks and similar surfaces:

  1. Always check the weather before heading out for daily activities.
  2. Make sure leaves are regularly swept up in locations where they tend to accumulate on sidewalks. Don’t be shy about mentioning to businesses that you may not be able to enter an establishment if there are wet leaves by entrances and exits.
  3. Be extra careful while traveling in a wheelchair or even simply walking both during and after a rainstorm.
  4. When possible, use sidewalk ramps that are covered by an overhang which shields from rain.

Learn about brain injury treatment services at Moody Neurorehabilitation! Visit us at: https://moodyneuro.org

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