Living With A Stranger
My Husband’s Brain Injury
Why We Created This Video
Traumatic or acquired brain injury as discussed by the media and the medical profession often fails to accurately portray the devastating and lifelong consequences brain damage can also have on a spouse and the entire family.
We created this video to offer a different perspective on the lifelong aftermath of brain injury, focusing on a person who has not actually sustained the injury but suffers from its consequences. Spouses and people close to brain injury victims may feel overwhelmed and find it difficult to explain their emotional roller coaster. We hope this video will assist in communicating the difficulties they themselves face. The impact on the spouse, family, and loved ones of someone who has sustained a brain injury are often neglected and overlooked. Their needs must be examined and addressed.
Although families are aware of the importance of the brain, very few families know of the consequences of a brain injury. Often, family members observation of physical improvement leads them to unrealistic expectations regarding cognitive, emotional, and behavioral recovery. Recovery and rehabilitation of these functions may take a long and uneven path, particularly when there is damage to frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, most vulnerable in auto crashes and falls. Those suffering the tragic consequences of a concussion, may have no visible physical symptoms, creating a false assumption that the injury was insignificant.
A once generous, articulate, cheerful, and socially appropriate person, however, may be transformed into a self-centered, verbose, depressed, and unpleasant person shunned by members of his or her own family. These more subtle changes in a person with a brain injury unfortunately envelope and affects a spouse, left alone to cope with the tragic aftermath.
A spouse or significant other may be constantly fearful of upsetting his or her loved one and may become isolated from others. One person’s brain injury has devastating effects on the entire family constellation, with a spouse or significant other functioning as both caretaker and liaison to the world. Spouses require support as well to learn to cope with the long-term consequences of brain injury.
Possible Consequences of Brain Injury to a Spouse, Significant Other:
- Clinical Depression
- Substance abuse
- Domestic violence
- Neglected healthcare
New responsibilities assumed by a spouse following a traumatic brain injury:
- Household Responsibility
- Parenting Responsibility
- Income Responsibility
- Decision Making
- Caring for The Injured Spouse
Support Services for Spouses to Consider:
- Brain Injury Spouse Support Groups
- In Home Assistance: Home Health Aides and Personal Care Assistance
- Respite Care
Problems Your Spouse May Have:
- Change in Sleep Patters
- Decreased Ambition and Initiation
- Impaired Self-Control
- Inappropriate Public Behavior
- Memory Impairment
- Self-Centered Behavior
- Sexual Disinterest or Sexual Preoccupation
- Sleep Disturbance
- Temper Outbursts
Important Resources for Spouses, Significant Others and Family Members:
- The Brain Injury Association of America
- The Bob Woodruff Foundation
- Family Care Giver Alliance
- Headway (UK)
- Information for Spouses and Families-Brain Injury Association of America
- When Your Spouse Has a Traumatic Brain Injury– Military One Source
- The Truth About Divorce After Traumatic Brain Injury
- Lee Woodruff Speaks on Supporting Intimate Relationships
- Concussion. 2016 Dec; 1(3): The partner’s experience of traumatic brain injury and its recovery
- Godwin, Emilie E. PhD; Kreutzer, Jeffrey S. PhD; Arango-Lasprilla, Juan Carlos PhD; Lehan, Tara J. PhD: Marriage After Brain Injury: Review, Analysis, and Research Recommendations Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation: January/February 2011-Vol. 26, Issue 1, pages 43-55
- VA TBI Model Systems Study: Relationship Stability After Traumatic Brain Injury Among Veterans and Service Members Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. 32(4):234–244, JUL 2017
- Woodruff, Lee: In an Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love and Healing
About Shana & Michael
Shana De Caro and Michael V. Kaplen.
Shana De Caro and Michael V. Kaplen are personal injury attorneys dedicated to assisting brain injury survivors navigate the road after traumatic brain injury. With extensive experience in representing victims of brain trauma, they are prepared to guide brain injury victims through the legal obstacles they will confront and recover full and fair compensation for the harms and losses their clients have suffered as a result of someone’s careless or negligent conduct.
De Caro & Kaplen, LLP is a New York personal injury law firm focused on representing victims of brain injury. Our attorneys have the knowledge and skill to make a crucial difference in the lives of brain injury victims. Specialized brain injury cases require a law firm with the experience and proficiency to assist brain injury victims through the most difficult legal challenges in their lives following a traumatic brain injury.
Shana and Michael are nationally recognized for their advocacy on behalf of brain injury victims. Shana is in her second term as an officer, and a member of the board of directors of the Brain Injury Association of America . Michael is a three-term past president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State and current Chair of the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Services Coordinating Council. They have been designated Preferred Attorneys for the Brain Injury Association of America.
Their opinions on traumatic brain injury are frequently sought by The New York Times, USA Today, The Daily News, Fox News Network, and others. They are widely respected throughout the legal, medical, and judicial communities. The two regularly lecture lawyers, medical professionals, and judges, across the nation on how traumatic brain injury clients and cases should be evaluated and handled in and out of the courthouse.