Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Caregivers share their stories of support for TBI recovery

Image of Group of people walking and on wheelchairs through the forest. Click to open a larger version of the image. Participants of the Air Force Special Operations Command Caregiver and Resilience Education summit walk the Gatlinburg trail in Gatlinburg, Tennessee in April 2019. (Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Lynette Rolen.)

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Warrior Care | Warrior Care | Traumatic Brain Injury | Warrior Care

After her husband returned home from Iraq with a traumatic brain injury, Jasmin Blair immediately saw the signs of distress in him. Wally, her Marine husband, became increasingly irritable, which created difficulty for her and their family.

After recommending he seek help at the TBI clinic at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, she recognized the importance of family in his recovery. She now helps Wally by putting his phone and keys where he can find them in the morning, setting up a calendar so the entire family knows about upcoming medical appointments, and accompanies him to the TBI clinic so she can be a more informed caregiver.

“I don’t necessarily view myself as a caregiver. I view myself more as a spouse that just wants to help her husband lead a fulfilling life,” Jasmin Blair said. “It’s important to be an advocate for your service member to better help with their treatment plans. You need to go to whatever appointments you possibly can to make sure that information is being given to better help with their recovery process. Recovery is possible to help lead a normal life. You just have to make sure you’re looking for help in the places that will help you do it.”

When asked of his experience, Wally explained, “I received the Purple Heart as a result of the 2007 IED [improvised explosive device] strike. My wife and family deserve it more than anything, I mean, they’ve paid more of a price than I have.”

Jasmin Blair recounted her experiences as part of a video series produced by A Head For the Future, an educational initiative of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC), the Defense Department’s TBI center of excellence. The center is a division of the Defense Health Agency Research and Development Directorate.

The “TBI Champions” video series honors service members and veterans who sought help when diagnosed with TBIs, chronicled some of the challenges caregivers face, and how caregivers can avoid burnout.

Marking November as National Family Caregivers Month, DVBIC continues to develop tools and resources for and about the quality of life of caregivers who treat service members diagnosed with TBI. It is actively collecting empirical data on caregivers as part of an ongoing congressionally mandated study. In recently released research, DVBIC developed the Traumatic Brain Injury Caregiver Quality of Life measurement tool. The tool assesses how caregivers feel about loss of self-identity, or whether they feel trapped or anxious or stressed. Developed with federal and academic partners, the tool has been shown to be a reliable and valid instrument for measuring quality of life. In the future, it could help identify caregivers who need rest from their responsibilities or who are at-risk for developing mental and physical health difficulties.

In another A Head For the Future video, former Army Sergeant Victor Medina and his wife, Roxana Delgado, discuss how becoming a TBI patient and caregiver transformed their relationship. Medina received a moderate TBI on his third deployment to Iraq when an explosive device hit his vehicle. Upon returning home, his mobility was severely affected, and his wife had to drive him everywhere and cut his food when he ate. After 18 months of rehabilitation, his condition improved. “We don’t define our life based on what exists but how we live. So twenty years from now, we’ll have two sets of memories, before and after the injury. They’re both gonna be beautiful,” Delgado said.

All of the initiative’s resources, including a compilation video called “Find Your Story,” are available on DVBIC’s website. DVBIC and the Department of Defense have resources available to help caregivers deal with their responsibilities and maintain their own health. “Caring for the caregiver allows for better care of our service members and veterans,” DVBIC program analyst Johanna Smith said. By promoting both better care and better health, caregivers ultimately contribute to improved readiness—all prominent goals of the Defense Health Agency.

You also may be interested in...

Warrior Care Month Recognition

Policy

Join me in recognizing Warrior Care Month, an important Department-wide effort to increase awareness of programs and resources available to wounded, ill, and injured Service members, as well as their families, caregivers, and others who support them. Established in 2008, the annual Warrior Care Month recognition occurs each November. The theme of this year's observance is "Virtual Show of Strength."

Tips for Caregivers – How to Take Care of Yourself and Avoid Burnout

Article
11/4/2021
Soldier sitting in gym with wife and daughter

The Human Performance Resources by CHAMP team, part of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences’ Consortium for Health and Military Performance provides stress management strategies for caregivers of recovering friends, family members or loved ones.

Recommended Content:

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences | Total Force Fitness | Warrior Care

WICC Podcast

Photo
10/18/2021
WICC Podcast

Today’s female service member population is now at 17%.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Warrior Care | Total Force Fitness

2000-Q2 2021 DOD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
10/14/2021

TBICoE is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking traumatic brain injury data in the U.S. military. Here you’ll find data on the number of active-duty service members—anywhere U.S. forces are located—with a first-time TBI diagnosis from calendar year 2000 through the second quarter of 2021. The data is also broken down by each branch of the armed services.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | DOD TBI Worldwide Numbers | Centers of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury

2021 Q2 DOD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
10/14/2021

TBICoE is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking traumatic brain injury data in the U.S. military. Here you’ll find data on the number of active-duty service members—anywhere U.S. forces are located—with a first-time TBI diagnosis in the second quarter of calendar year 2021. The data is also broken down by each branch of the armed services.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | DOD TBI Worldwide Numbers | Traumatic Brain Injury

Warrior Care

Video
10/14/2021
Warrior Care

DOD has no higher priority than caring for wounded, ill and injured service members and the caregivers who support them.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Warrior Care – A Virtual Show of Strength | Warrior Care – A Virtual Show of Strength | Caregiver Month

USU Co-leads Largest NCAA-DOD Concussion Study in History

Article
10/8/2021
A doctor looks at a patient's prosthetic arm.

The Uniformed Service University will co-lead the next phase of the largest concussion and repetitive head impact study.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury

Back from the Brink: One Marine's Recovery from Suicidal Thoughts

Article
9/29/2021
Portrait photo of John Peck

After suffering a TBI in Iraq and losing all four limbs in Afghanistan, Marine Sgt. John Peck talks about his own experience and the differences in the ways in which individuals deal with traumatic life events.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Suicide Prevention | Suicide Prevention | Talking About Afghanistan

Concussion Linked to Depression, Anxiety and PTSD, Studies Show

Article
9/28/2021
Picture of blast waves during an explosion

A clear link between blast-related concussions and mental health symptoms like depression, anxiety, and PTSD, is shown in a series of recent studies.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury

NICoE, NHRC Team Up To Make CAREN Technology Portable

Article
8/12/2021
A person walks in front of a large virtual reality screen.

Head-mounted display technology has become more affordable and accessible

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | The National Intrepid Center of Excellence

Did You Know? Concussions - Mild TBI

Infographic
8/3/2021
Did You Know? Concussions - Mild TBI

Concussions are the most common form or Traumatic Brain Injury in the Military. Be TBI ready!

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Brain Injury Awareness To Improve Readiness

Concussion Awareness V1

Infographic
8/3/2021
Concussion Awareness V1

According to the Defense Health Agency Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence (TBICoE), 439,609 service members have been diagnosed with a first-time TBI since 2000. The most common form of TBI in the military is mild, and is also known as a concussion.

Recommended Content:

Suicide Prevention | Traumatic Brain Injury

PRA Case Study Workbook

Publication
7/23/2021

This workbook, paired with corresponding PRA Training Video 8, is an interactive clinical case scenario to test your understanding in applying the Progressive Return to Activity. We hope this will help medical providers become more familiar with the PRA process when treating service members with concussion.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Provider Resources | Provider Education | Traumatic Brain Injury

Caregiver Guide supports service members and veterans with TBI

Article
7/22/2021
Military family posing for a picture

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence’s 2021 Caregiver Guide provides specific tools to help caregivers manage TBI patient recovery.

Recommended Content:

Centers of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury | TBI Education and Training Events

PRA Training Video 1: PRA Overview

Video
7/22/2021
PRA Training Video 1: PRA Overview

In the first of TBICoE's Progressive Return to Activity (PRA) video training series, you will learn about the reasons for using a progressive return to activity process and receive an overview of the 2021 PRA algorithm and its associated tools. By the end of lesson one, providers will better understand the PRA process, and explain that process to service members diagnosed with concussion. Each video in the PRA training series is designed to support primary care providers' ability to manage concussion/traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Provider Resources | Provider Education | Traumatic Brain Injury
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 46 - 60 Page 4 of 20

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.