Wounded Warrior Project Helping Caregivers Cope With TBI Challenges
KILLEEN, Texas, April 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- For Colleen Saffron, everyday life is anything but routine. Yet, it is the routine that her husband, Terry, relies on. Terry survived an explosion in Iraq 17 years ago. The blast ripped off part of his jaw and nearly cost Terry his right arm.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) Terry suffered in the explosion took years to diagnose. But Terry and Colleen both knew something was wrong.
"He kept forgetting words," Colleen said. "I know this man, I was married to him for 15 years before he was wounded; it's not the same."
Terry also deals with memory lapses that can sometimes have him forget simple tasks.
"We have a cube freezer in the garage," Colleen said. "He will leave it open for hours and forget that he opened it."
She now helps Terry by prompting him about different tasks throughout the day: brushing teeth, taking a shower, and eating lunch. Coupled with helping Terry navigate VA appointments, Colleen has little time to look out for herself. "It can be really exhausting," she said.
Stories like Colleen and Terry's helped inspire Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) to increase support for the loved ones who sacrifice their time and well-being to care for seriously injured veterans.
WWP's Independence Program helps these wounded warriors live as independently as possible. By working with warriors, families, caregivers, and WWP-provided support, Independence Program helps create individual goals and a plan to exceed them.
In November, WWP launched virtual programs for caregivers of IP warriors. Art classes, music lessons, and writing workshops give caregivers a chance to connect with other families while also focusing inward.
"I will take any writing or art workshop I can get into," Colleen said. "It's about me getting a chance to work through what I am going through."
Colleen says many caregivers become an extension of the warrior they care for and lose their voice along the way.
"Taking that time to sit down and write reconnects you to the parts of yourself that you lose.
A chance for caregivers to recharge and better care for themselves and the warriors they love.
About Wounded Warrior Project
Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project