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Thinking and memory changes

Judgement and problem-solving

After a brain injury, you may have changes to your judgment and how you solve problems. This may lead to acting without thinking things through.

Tips for family and caregivers

You may notice that when someone with a brain injury makes up their mind, that it can be hard to change. Or once they have an idea or plan, it may be hard for them to think of another idea or way to do something. In some cases, judgment may be poor and they may not make decisions that are best for them.

The following tips can help you support someone who’s dealing with changes in judgment and problem solving after a brain injury.

  • Involve them in making decisions.
  • Encourage them to plan and think out loud so you can help them talk through their thoughts and ideas.
  • Point out important things to think about when making a decision. Encourage them to write these down.
  • Give them choices, instead of asking for a suggestion or opinion. For example, ask if they want to go for a walk, practice their exercises, or watch TV, instead of asking them what they want to do.
  • Give them feedback on their responses (like what was a good response or what wasn’t). Let them know if their behaviour or ideas fit well or could happen. Ask the psychologist or occupational or speech therapist for ideas on how to do this.
  • Help them remember problems or situations from the past that are like the ones they’re dealing with now.
  • Lessen the amount of demands and things going on around them (distractions) so they have extra time to problem solve.​

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