By Angela

Hobbies for the Healing the Brain

1. TBI and Selecting a Hobby

2. Ideas for Hobbies & Therapeutic Benefits

a. Bird Feeding and Watching

Goal: To enlist the help of family, friends and most specifically youth groups in communities to encourage and provide resources for hobbies to people with brain injuries.

One of the many things I would like to do to promote brain injury awareness is to start a project called Hobbies for Healing the Brain. My vision would be to inspire family members, friends and youth groups to work with survivors of brain injury in finding a hobby.

Why family & friends of people with brain injuries?

Family and friends of TBI survivors often ask what they can do to help. Helping the survivor find a satisfying hobby goes a long way to assisting a person on many different levels. Helping the person find an enjoyable hobby gives the person a positive experience in his/her life. Family and friends are more likely to have consistent contact with the person and may be able to help link this hobby with some of the therapeutic goals the individual is working on achieving. Hobbies provide a worthwhile activity for family and friends to contribute to when considering gift or activity ideas.

Why youth groups in communities?

Some organizations such as the National Honor Society in many high schools require that students do some kind of community service work. Linking high school students with TBI survivors would:

1) provide an experience which brings more awareness and understanding regarding brain injury, which may be helpful for students who play sports and are at risk for concussions,

2) sensitize teens to people with invisible handicaps,

3) help high school students be safer drivers through first-hand knowledge about the consequences of brain injury from car accidents,

4) provide an avenue for high school students to share their knowledge and enthusiasm about certain subjects/hobbies with a person who has challenges, and

5) decrease social isolation for people with brain injuries.

Why only people with brain injuries? Why not other handicaps?

Approximately 2% of the US population, at least 5.3 million Americans, suffer long-term effects of brain injury, causing TBI to be referred to as “a silent epidemic.” It is also an invisible handicap because although people may look and talk “normal,” their invisible injuries can make it impossible for them to function in a competitive work force and/or perform activities of daily living.

Although TBI is very prevalent, it is not well understood, causing survivors to experience a lot of rejection and social isolation. Focusing on people with brain injuries would bring more awareness and understanding to this condition.

Why focus on hobbies?

Having a hobby fulfills many important benefits for all individuals, but particularly for people with handicaps. Hobbies are a way to achieve therapeutic benefits in a positive and enjoyable way. Hobbies also help “normalize” one’s life, since they can be an interest shared by people of many different abilities.

© Angela Cramer, 2008


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