Study: Homelessness may be a consequence of a traumatic brain injury

A new study found that homelessness may be one of the potential consequences of incurring a traumatic brain injury.

A person incurs a traumatic brain injury when they experience a bump, blow or jolt to the head that disrupts how their brain normally functions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traumatic brain injuries are a serious public health problem in California and throughout the rest of the country that contribute to a large number of deaths and cases of permanent disability every year.

However, how a brain injury affects one person is entirely different than how it affects another due to the wide range of short-term and long-term changes that can occur after a TBI. The CDC states that a person who suffers from a TBI may experience changes that affect their thinking, sensation, language and emotions. For example, a brain injury victim may suffer from depression, anxiety and have a difficulty remembering things. In addition to these consequences, a recent study discovered that brain injury sufferers are potentially at an increased risk for becoming homeless.

The link between homelessness and brain injuries

This particular study, which was conducted by researchers at St. Michael's hospital in Toronto, surveyed 111 homeless men between the ages of 27 to 81 and found that 45 percent of them had suffered from a minimum of one TBI during the course of their lifetime. Additionally, the study found that of those who had incurred a brain injury, 87 percent of these injuries happened before they became homeless.

Each of the men who participated in this study incurred a TBI in a different way. However, the study found that 44 percent of the total injuries were sustained during sports and recreational activities, 42 percent were the result of a car accident or a fall and 60 percent of the brain injuries were caused by assault. However, a researcher on the study said that this data does not necessarily mean that a TBI will cause homelessness since there are other factors, like substance abuse and mental illness, that can contribute to its occurrence.

Recovering after a TBI

Although there is no completely reliable cure for brain injuries, those who were involved in an accident and incurred this type of injury should:

  • Get plenty of rest and not rush into getting back to activities like work and school.
  • Avoid activities that could potentially result in another TBI.
  • Focus on re-learning skills that were lost as a result of the injury.

It may take brain injury victims weeks, months or even years to fully recover from this type of injury. If you were in an accident and incurred a TBI, speak with an attorney who can ensure you receive proper compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages and medical bills.

Keywords: TBI, brain injury, accident