CEMM Virtual Library

The Caregiver's Journey

Safety Tips

  • Use the Home Safety Checklist to assess the safety of your home. Your physical therapist and occupational therapist (PT/OT) will work with you to decide if you need to make safety modifications to your home. Talk to your PT/OT to learn about what other resources might be available through VA.
  • Be sure to remove or secure items from your home that could result in harm to your family member with TBI. For example, keep car keys put away if your family member is not cleared to drive.
  • Avoid keeping guns, knives, or other weapons in the house.
  • When your service member/veteran with TBI begins expanding his or her activities beyond the house, it is important that he or she carry identification at all times.
    • Some may choose to continue wearing dog tags but other forms of identification should be carried on his or her person, such as a Medic Alert© bracelet or necklace. This will help insure that all medical information is readily accessible to emergency medical personnel if it is needed.
  • A cell phone, programmed for voice activation, can be a lifeline for those who have trouble reading numbers or text.
  • Depending on level of cognitive and functional ability, 24-hour care may be needed to ensure safety. Your family member will be evaluated for his or her ability to live alone, with or without help.
  • Ask the OT/PT to help with fall prevention, if your family member has trouble with dizziness and balance.
  • Removing clutter and simplifying your home environment can help a person with TBI. Clutter — too many things in the visual environment — can contribute to a sense of overstimulation.
  • Clutter raises the likelihood that there are things that your family member may trip over or bump into, especially if he or she is experiencing balance or vision/perception problems.

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