Tips for stakeholders and professionals

Social support employees, (residential) facilitators, caregivers who are not related, volunteers, friends and acquaintances, home care, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists and physicians. If you are related also see …..


The first tip:

The first tip is a tip often repeated: every person with brain injury differs from another person with brain injury. See the human being!

The second tip: collaborate with family carers! They have the expertise / experience!

General Communication Advice

•    Provide structure.
•    Have an unambiguous approach:

  •  ongoing,
  •  empowering,
  •  affirming.

•    Consider (im)possibilities.
•    Don’t perceive inability as unwillingness.
•    Adjust your expectations. ABI will never heal completely.
•    take into account fatigue. Everything takes effort and energy!!!
•    Remember that commitment and motivation are also "driven" by the brain and therefore can be damaged.

Related to memory

•    Keep repeating - in a friendly tone
•    Support imprinting

•    Specify new information step by step
•    Teach reminders
•    Teach to use compensatory strategies

  • agenda,
  • to do lists,
  • whatch with alarm,
  • notebook

Related to attention and concentration

•    Quiet surroundings
•    Few stimuli: light, image, sound
•    Avoid doing two jobs at once
•    Continue to engage
•    Don’t ask too much

Related to planning and execution

•    Provide structure
•    One task at a time
•    Build routine
•    Decrease support

Related to communication

•    Take your time
•    Speak slowly
•    Short, clear sentences
•    Write down keywords
•    Ask one thing at a time
•    Check if what you said is understood
•    Be carefull with jokes, with respect to taking language literally

Related to orientation

•    Keep surroundings organized
•    Everything at a fixed location
•    Daily schedule with preset times
•    Watch or clock with alarm
•    Orientation Training
•    Signposting

Up to here: a translation of tips by NAHZeeland

From here: additional tips.

• Be wary of the fact that a person may have different intelligence in different areas. In one area preserved intelligence, in another area reduced intelligence.
• Be wary of the fact that in a quiet conversation someone may function better and therefore may make a better impression than happens in everyday life.
• Any rehabilitation setting should have the ability to examine and treat patients in a low-stimulus environment, but also a busy and more complex environment to determine the impact of this on the functioning.
• Do not ask "do you need anything?" But ask for example: "do you need yogurt, apples or toilet paper?" Help concrete thinking.
• Use images in case of a language problem. Use aphasia aids.
• Always clarify a misunderstanding. Do not accept: “leave it…”.
• Use gestures or spoken kindly agreed reminders to take the word again in case the person with injury speaks too much
• Use gestures or verbal clues to remember the injured person that he or she should look at you, in case of wandering thoughts.
• Turn the left side of the person with brain injury to a distraction.
• In case of irritation or worse; Time Out and talk it over when peace has been restored. Look for the cause of the irritation!
• Already start teaching the use of social media at the time the person is in the rehabilitation center.
• Teach the brain injured using Twitter (again) (Thinking in short sentences).
• Using Twitter, WatsApp or e-mail is sometimes easier than talk.

• Perform important conversations one to one or with two persons and lay it down in a written record so it can be read afterwards.