Really need help with as caregiver to someone with short term memory loss

My brother has been home from the hospital for less than a month following a massive subarachnoid hemorrhage in his frontal lobe on Jan 23rd and then sepsis. When he was well enough to transferred to inpatient rehab he was admitted for 2 weeks and did very well. He no longer requires any physical therapy or speech therapy and is doing very well at occupational therapy, The problem we are having that I am really looking for any type of advice, suggestions or recommendations for is that with his expected short term memory loss he can not remember that he retired in Nov 2018. Nighttime has really become a nightmare for his wife as he is up constantly trying to get dressed for work. Since I am now visiting and take care of my mother with Alzheimer’s I can see that with him trying to divert his attention is not working at all. He is extremely focused. We have shown him paperwork, retirement cards etc but he goes back to the same focus. It builds to the point that he becomes extremely angry. Last night he was up and walking around most the night. When he wakes up he won’t recall any of it which is good. Does anyone have any suggestions on how we can divert or help it from rising to the level of anger? He absolutely gets mad if you think you are belittling him in any way which we are not clear on what that means to him nor to we ever want to do. The situation seems a bit different to me then where I am at with my mother and her Alzheimer’s. With her we expect her to get worse so really live with her in her world. With my brother we want to work towards getting him as well as he can be. Sorry about the rambling. I so want to help my sister-in-law and brother. I do know that today we are getting a prescription for lorazepam which does help my mother some at night. Hoping it will help some for him.

Hello kast,
Did you consult your brother’s Dr. about this?
Because I think everyone of us that had brain surgery had been through this but it was
with our Dr’s advice to take some medication on this. as you said it was only 2 or 3 months. give it more time for him to go back to it’s normal way of thinking I should know I’m also a patient then but had overcome this phase too.
I can give you some of what i did to surpssed this, I make a point that RADIO is playing soft music always. they say it relax our body along with our soul which clear our senses to reality.reading to him about what was betore and after his surgery.
give him a stressball. that’s it.
and take it slow on your self too do not stress yourself too. It will come recovery from brain surgery is really long though.


When he’s in the phase of remembering he retired could you have him write a letter to himself explaining that his IS retired but forgets because of the injury?


Thank you so much for your response. They are working with his doctor about all of this. He was released to his family physician after the inpatient rehab for his care. Hearing from someone who has been a patient is really helpful and knowing it is just part of the healing process. I showed his wife the RADIO information and we both think that is a great idea. He loves music and we ask him if he wants it and he says no but your idea of just having it playing makes so much sense. We have the stress balls so maybe we should just make sure they are very close by. Hope you are doing well yourself.

This is a great idea! Thank you so much for the idea.

Alway’s welcome Kast…

Hey Kast,
Frontal lobe damage can be a HUGE issue as this area is understood to control behaviour and impulse control. So for example, we all get irritated sometimes by small things, our frontal lobe regulates how we react to such things. Another example, one I have had experience with, a normally law abiding citizen got drunk, knew he couldn’t drive home, so walked. He fell over stepping up on a curb and smacked his head on the concrete curbing. He lost all of his law abiding behaviours. If he wanted something, he took it. He would steal anything that wasn’t nailed down. He would start fights because someone was looking at him even if it was only perceived as looking and has needed to be supervised ever since. Now this is/was a worse case scenario or so we were told. But whenever someone says frontal lobe damage this man’s case always comes to mind.
The short term memory loss may be the least of the problems. Both the suggestion of a stress ball and calming music are good ones, but if his behaviour does not improve I’d strongly recommend a behavioural psychologist, someone with experience with frontal lobe damage. Someone who maybe able to introduce new ways of dealing with and managing stress. Some people do recover from such injuries, but some need lifelong supports and the sooner your brother gets any assistance he may need the better. When ‘normal’ behaviours have been disturbed, the picking up of bad or inappropriate behaviours is much easier, breaking that cycle early is a must because if those inappropriate behaviours become the new ‘normal’ it can turn into a life time of hell for him and all of those around him. Being an adult some of those behaviours can also have serious legal implications too.
Now, I worked in the disability sector for many years and I have seen some of the consequences of serious frontal lobe damage. I am not saying these things to scare nor alarm and as I say some of this was deemed a ‘worse case’ scenario, but it can happen. If at any point someone says they need professional assistance, get it for him. Find him a professional to assist. I hope that he never needs it but if he does please do not hesitate. If you cannot find an appropriate service then please come back here and ask and I will find you a service that meets his needs as best I can. There are services out there that can help it just a case of finding one to meet your specific needs.

Merl from the Moderator Support Team

Merl thank you for you input. It is good feedback and something I think it’s important we be aware of.

3 posts were split to a new topic: Caregiver Needing Help