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Understanding the Financial & Emotional Costs of Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury can carry extensive costs associated with both immediate and long term care. Even if you are financially stable, with savings and an excellent health insurance plan, the cost of caring for a traumatic brain injury patient can place you in a challenging financial situation. The Brain Injury Institute discusses the financial, physical and emotional costs.

Financial Costs:

Loss of Income
**If the patient is able to return to work, he or she may find themselves unable to perform the work duties as before, resulting in employment that earns less income.
The patient may only work part time due to medical concerns, resulting in a loss of expected income.
**In the worst case scenario, the patient may lose the ability to work at all.
**This is not only applicable to the patient. The caregiver also has to sacrifice time away from work. In the short term, this may mean a temporary absence for a particular period of time. However, this becomes a long term consideration if the best plan of action for the patient entails a family member acting as the primary caregiver.
**For a child, a TBI may prohibit their ability to acquire a higher level of education, limiting their employment opportunities for the future.

Medical Costs
**According to traumaticbraininjury.com, unconscious TBI patients require machines and medical staff to continuously monitor their vital signs.
**Prescription costs for medications **Initial hospital expenses that are not covered by medical insurance **Expenses for continuous care after discharge from the initial hospital admission, including:

-Daycare fees and/or long term facilities
-Hiring of professional caregivers -Physical therapy session expenses -Specialized equipment, like wheelchairs and leg braces -Psychological evaluations and continuous mental and emotional therapies
The Brain Injury Institute estimates that the cost to care for a TBI patient over a lifetime ranges from $85,000 to $3 million. The exact amount depends on the seriousness and extent of the injury. While medical insurance may cover some costs, you are still responsible for deductibles and copayments, which can add up quickly. Long term care insurance and disability insurance can also assist with some of the costs. Some caregivers choose to tap into their life insurance policies or savings for expenses, creating an additional financial burden for the family.

Emotional Costs
Caring for a TBI patient is mentally and emotionally challenging. The entire family of a TBI patient must make adjustments for care. These changes can prove substantial and they must happen very quickly. The condition of the injured party must be understood and adequately handled on a daily basis. Along with possible physical limitations, this may also include emotional outbreaks or mental disabilities. The Brain Injury Institute recommends that families and family caregivers seek counseling or a support group for themselves to better handle the challenges.

Brain injuries are serious matters with lasting physical, mental and financial effects for the injured party and the family. If the actions of another caused a traumatic brain injury within your family, contact Levin & Perconti for a free consultation.

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