Family and Community
The family will become experts in services for traumatic
brain injuries(TBI); Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid,
and Department of Rehabilitation regulations, while trying
to adjust to a family member who has had a TBI. Many times
this beloved family member had been hanging on the edge of
death for unending hours, days, weeks, or even months.
When they come out of the coma, they are not the same as
they were. In most cases they are not able to do what they
used to do, and their behavior may be dramatically changed.
This will cause significant stress in the family structure;
statistics show that 90% of families facing TBI are not
able to stay together. The community involvement will also
change dramatically for these individuals because many in
the community will view them as having psychological
impairments comparative to schizophrenia; such impairments
are widely misunderstood and discriminated against in our
Research has shown that the quality of life of individuals
that live with TBI is significantly lower in many areas, such
as marital comfort, close friends, parenting, understanding
self, socializing, and work, than their nondisabled
counterparts. Individuals experiencing a mild form of TBI
seem to become hyperaware of and hyperreactive to the
challenge introduced into their lives as a consequence of
TBI. This recognition of contrast in quality of life issues
before the injuries and after may provide rationale for their
experience that the quality of life plummets after injury.
This can be compared with other individuals with severe
injuries who do not focus on the contrast between their "old"
and "new" lives allowing these individuals to be more
subjective about the quality of their lives (Brown).
An individual and family receive support from various
government services such as the Social Security Department,
Department of Rehabilitations, Medicare and Medi-Cal.
To qualify for Social Security the individual and family if
they are financially responsible, cannot have more than $2000
in resources as a single, or $3000 in resources for a couple.
This doesn't include the home they live in or the car(within
limits) they use to go back and forth to the doctor. For
most Americans, we would see this as totally destitute, but
currently this is the requirement. In California, SSDI, the
minimum cash aid, is around $800 and it will go up depending
on the amount the consumer contributed to the federal
Here in California, the consumer would be qualified for
Medicare and Medi-Cal which involves a maze of paperwork and
regulations. Under this program there is a $2000 a year cap
on Durable Medical Equipment (DME), which has to cover the
expanse of assistive technology like reachers(devices that
grab items out of reach) to bladder bags. These are not