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9 ways to help with pl...

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9 ways to help with planning problems after brain injury

9 ways to help with planning problems after brain injury

The ability to plan and carry out tasks is complex, and is often affected by brain injury

The ability to plan and carry out tasks is complex and is often affected by brain injury, particularly where damage to the frontal lobes has occurred.

It is an example of 'executive dysfunction', where a range of seemingly routine activities are adversely affected by brain injury, often having a severe impact on day-to-day life.

We’ve put together 9 tips to help people who have problems with planning:

  • Allow yourself plenty of time to plan activities and record your plans, using as many aids as you find helpful (such as calendars, diaries, electronic timing devices, mobile phones and pagers).

  • When planning your day, week, or a particular activity use a step-by-step approach, dividing the activity into manageable ‘chunks’.

  • Use checklists and tick off each part of the activity that you have accomplished. This will help you to stay on track.
  • Mentally rehearse your plans.

  • Discuss your plans for the day with others. They can help you to write down a step-by-step checklist of the different actions for that day.
person writing
  • Similar strategies can be used for longer term planning, such as appointments you need to make. Discussing your plans with others will make you more likely to remember, and the other person can remind you of things if necessary.

  • Step-by-step checklists can be placed in key locations in the house in order to remind you of the different sequences to go through to do a task, such as preparing a meal.

  • Prepare a weekly routine for tasks like shopping, washing and tidying the house. Knowing that, for example, Monday is shopping day, will make you more motivated to get the task done.

  • Try to develop back up plans in advance, rather than when problems arise.

Find out more

If you experience difficulty with your planning skills after brain injury, it is important to seek professional advice. Contact your doctor to ask about a referral to a specialist such as a neuropsychologist, neurologist or occupational therapist.

You can also contact our helpline to discuss these issues in more detail. They can provide you with further information on living with a brain injury and give details of your local Headway group or branch.

Explore the links below for more information:

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