Victims with brain injuries in shelter
Living in a domestic violence shelter may be difficult for someone with a TBI.
- She may become anxious and confused by noise and the presence of other people in crisis.
- She may become disruptive. Pay attention to how others respond to her. Find out how she would like you to help them understand her.
- She may have trouble understanding or remembering shelter rules and procedures.
Strategize with her about how to best accommodate shelter policies and her needs. Be prepared to provide special accommodations as needed. These might include:
- Strategies remembering to attend support group meetings, ask for medications that are kept under lock and key, keep appointments, etc. Help her recreate the memory strategies she used at home if moving to the shelter has disrupted them. For instance, her bathroom mirror at home may be covered with post-its, which may not be workable in a shared bathroom. Help her look for an alternative and put it into practice. Check back to see how it’s working.
- Strategies for helping her follow through with tasks. Inability to concentrate, memory deficits, lack of initiative and fatigue can all contribute to difficulty with follow-through.
- Assistance in taking care of her children, if they are in shelter with her.
For more ideas go to Working with Victims with Brain Injuries in Domestic Violence Shelters.