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What is a good way to engage someone after severe TBI especially during Covid with less access to regular therapies?

I care for my mother who suffered a severe TBI in 2018 and is trying to take a rehabilitative approach to her care but she does have a very short attention span.

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Medical Professional

Answer transcribed from Brightway's interview with recreational therapist Allison Huck:

After a severe TBI, it's really important to continue engaging in activities that the survivor enjoyed prior to their injury but also noting that being a caregiver can be very stressful on its own. Taking into account the situation, I recommend a family-centered approach, which is trying things like scheduling a family game night. On this day of the week, you’re gonna all play a game together and have that be a planned event. Take into consideration what you need to support your family member in doing this, so maybe consider pairing up teams to provide your loved one with some support in whatever game you choose. Then, with the decreased attention, make sure that participation is shorter and allowing for breaks throughout can be helpful. 


I always think that setting goals and expectations together before you start is very helpful. This could be things like “we're gonna do this activity together for 15 minutes and then take a break”. Also, make sure that you're setting up your environment for success. That includes small things like removing any distractions so that you’re playing a game on a cleared-off table and there's nothing else in the way to take away from our attention. Make sure you’re turning off the TV, muting phones, and putting phones away. Things like that can be really helpful and supportive, it's a family-centered approach where everyone participates in something together. Of course, there are also all those online recommendations for things like adaptive fitness that both survivors can engage in on their own once set up, or family can also participate in.