Thank you so much for reaching out and I am so sorry to hear of the recent concerns with your uncle.
With any type of traumatic brain injury – there is a true risk for a person to show a variety of cognitive changes including attention, memory, and difficulties with executive functioning. Executive functioning is a specific set of mental skills that work together to assist someone to achieve goals – which can include time management, planning and sequencing tasks, judgment and decision making, insight into others’ feelings, memory of details, and acceptable or appropriate speech and behavior. This combined with other physical deficits can greatly affect a person’s ability to remain independent. We often do not realize how complicated tasks such as driving or managing medications can be; however, these can be extremely dangerous for those with cognitive deficits.
If there is a traumatic brain injury, it is best that a person receive a full neuro-psych assessment to properly diagnose and to clarify level of deficits. After there is clarification, it will be necessary to seek correct treatment and to connect with appropriate support services. In many situations, cognitive rehabilitation can assist the individual to best restore functioning or (if not possible) teach compensatory techniques. Psychotherapy and effective medication regimens have also shown benefit – especially for those without prior cognitive difficulties. A Geriatric Care Manager can assist to help and support the client and their family with the “new normal”.
A person’s level of functioning prior to the injury, one’s general personality, social support, and overall environment can all affect one’s ability to heal and progress following brain injury. In seeking care, it is often best to have too much care than too little care until you are clear what the needs are. Opt for safety over independence. Also, it is important to consistently evaluate potential changes as the process is seldom stable and can show improvement or decline.
Wishing the best to you and yours!