Brain scans of people who recovered from COVID-19 had more brain atrophy in parts of the brain that control taste, smell, and memory. People continue to experience “brain fog” months after their recoveries from the other symptoms of COVID-19. Let’s all do our part to curb the spread of this virus and end the pandemic!
The next two days are Amazon Prime Day! Take advantage of all the great deals while simultaneously supporting a nonprofit cause you love! When you shop @AmazonSmile, Amazon will make a donation to The BridgeLine. Click on the link below to get started! https://smile.amazon.com/ch/59-3829222
Women Caregivers for Individuals Following Brain Injury
A study to better understand the lived experiences of women serving as full-time caregivers to survivors of brain injury is seeking participants. Our current knowledge indicates that a majority of caregiving is provided by mothers, partners, sisters, and daughters, but few studies have looked specifically at the experiences of these women. There is a need to better understand factors impacting the quality of life for these women caregivers such as social isolation, financial constraints, and family dynamics. Also, learning of the successes from a caregiver’s experience may lend support for others in similar situations. The results of this project will assist in developing helpful supports and resources for women caregivers.
This work is being led by Dr. Cynthia O’Donoghue and Dr. Cara Meixner, both professors at James Madison University. The study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board for human subjects research at JMU. Women caregivers will be invited to participate in a 30-45 minute telephone or Zoom interview. An invite will be sent via email, but for individuals that do not have computer access, contact by phone (and phone interviews) is possible. No participant names nor names of the individual they are caring for will be identifiable. We are seeking
• Volunteers who identify as women, age 18 or older who are in the role of full-time, live-in caregiver to a survivor of brain injury. • The survivor’s brain injury must have occurred at least one year previously. • Participants must be able to participate in an interview that will be held in English.
If you are interested or know someone who might wish to participate, please contact: Cara Meixner Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 540-568-4830
It is no secret that The BridgeLine’s many programs have done a world of good for dozens of adults with brain injuries. However, I had the special opportunity to speak with one of the Clubhouse’s long-time participants, Barbie York. Barbie has been part of the Clubhouse program since 2004 and hearing her experience was an incredible opportunity to dive deeper into the true benefits of The BridgeLine.
The primary aspect that Barbie emphasized was the sense of connection the Clubhouse provides. She spoke about the pervading sense of isolation that became apparent through her recovery from her injury and how the Clubhouse assisted in eliminating this isolation. In fact, many of her friends today are from the Clubhouse and she expressed her satisfaction with the opportunity to interact with a multitude of people whose experiences are both similar to and different from hers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has halted many programs, both in our community and beyond it, but The BridgeLine has persevered. Barbie spoke about how impactful the program continues to be, even through its virtual format. She applauded the opportunities to get involved that persisted through the transition to virtual Clubhouse meetings and again spoke enthusiastically about the way The BridgeLine allows her to interact with people who understand what it’s like to navigate a brain injury.
Barbie enjoys reading, music, television, and her daily walk around the UVA campus. When asked about what she’d learned from her experience as an adult with a brain injury, she said that it’s important to think about your actions and prepare in advance for any steps you take. Barbie puts this advice into use every day and she thanks The BridgeLine for being so helpful in supporting her.
The BridgeLine features programs dedicated to assisting adults in every stage of rehabilitation, offering both practical and emotional support. Barbie is proof of the benefits of taking advantage of The Bridgeline’s opportunities for encouragement, assistance, and above all, connection. However, this couldn’t be possible without the generous support of The Bridgeline’s donors. All the volunteers, staff, members, and residents are so grateful to be allowed to continue making such a strong impact on our community.
This information is rarely found in one place. We pride ourselves on being able to connect people and families with special needs to resources that can help them navigate the challenges presented by brain injury. Below are two sets of presentations on how to financially plan for a loved one with special needs. Each topic has multiple dates each with a separate registration link. All of the information sessions are FREE!
ABLE vs Special Needs Trusts: An In-Depth Discussion
The Brain Injury Association of Virginia (BIAV) is hosting their 38th year of Camping at Camp Bruce McCoy! This year’s camp will have 4 different 1-day sessions in different locations around the state. Applications are due by April 1st, and registration is $150 but there is financial aid so please don’t let the price deter you! Everything you need to know to apply is here: https://www.biav.net/camp-2021/. For assistance with the application contact our Case Management Program.
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month! We’d like to start by sharing these stats with you, but our main goal this month is to tell the stories of adults with brain injuries, we’ll share how people are #morethantheirbraininjury. 5.3 million Americans have a disability due to a brain injury—that’s 2% of the population and likely includes someone you know.
If you’d like to get in on the movement to raise awareness you can check out the resources of the #MoreThanMyBrainInjury movement below. If you’d like help creating posts to share please let us know!
Our 2020 impact report is complete. Take a look at what we were able to accomplish together in 2020. Even though it was a difficult year, we are proud to have still supported adults with brain injuries in recovering their independence and enriching their lives.