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 Right-Side Brain Injury

 

 What May Happen:

SAFETY

  • May not be aware of anything on the left side (may not notice if the left arm is dangling over the side of the bed or chair), may not notice the left arm under his or her body while lying in bed
  • May have trouble paying attention
  • May have trouble remembering new things
  • May act without thinking first, may have poor judgment
  • Probably will not be aware of any problems, and may deny that there is anything wrong
  • May forget steps in everyday activities
  • Difficulty keeping track of time

COMMUNICATION

  • Talks a lot but may not stay on track; or may not try to talk, even if talkative before
  • Imagines he or she has just gotten back from some place (store, work) when really in bed
  • Takes things literally; may not understand things unless very specific directions are given
  • Interrupts
  • Changes topics without warning
  • Misses social cues
  • Loses eye contact
  • Flat tone of voice
  • May have dysarthria (slurred speech)
How to Help:

SAFETY

  • Never allow anyone to pull on the left arm while helping move the person
  • Form a routine; make a schedule, keep checklists for the day's activities
  • Remind your loved one of the time, place, situation
  • Break tasks into steps, waiting until the first step is finished before starting the second step

COMMUNICATION

  • Get rid of distractions; turn off the TV, close the door
  • Talk TO the person, not ABOUT the person
  • Use gestures to remind the person to look at you while you are talking

VISION

  • Make a boundary on the left side of anything to read (can use a ruler or a bright colored paper), encourage looking left to right, use an index card to read only one line at a time
  • Make a boundary and remind the person to look to the left of the plate to make sure they don't forget food on the left

THINKING SKILLS, MEMORY

  • The person can self cue by talking aloud through the steps of an activity
  • Take extra time to learn new information
  • Describe ideas when unable to think of a certain word
  • Keep up a daily routine
  • Use written reminders
  • The caregiver can talk the person through the steps of an activity