April 21, 2011

Local mother serves on HIAND board

Local mother serves on HIAND board
By ALLAN TINKER
After her son’s vehicle accident and severe brain injury, and the long recovery process still involving them, Rhonda Boehm, McClusky, was offered and accepted a position on HIAND, the Head Injury Association of North Dakota.
As a very pro-active board member, she offers much information for people who might be dealing with this or similar issues. The HIAND office is located at 547 South 7th St. in Bismarck and their phone number is 877-525-2724. They will provide contact numbers of people in their mentoring program who are willing to help others dealing with the same problems and also offer support to the families around the patients or injured person.
The mission of the HIAND is to advocate for the head injury population of North Dakota, estimated to be 9,000 people per year, some less severe than others. They provide information, networking opportunities, public awareness, and involve local and national leaders in brining quality of life and coping mechanisms to those involved with head injuries. They also provide peer counseling, and information referral and informal support services.
Brain injury is defined as any injury to the brain, regardless of age at onset: whether by trauma, damage, acquired, or traumatic. Lives are often changed dramatically and loss of social, family and financial support affect the individual greatly. They also may suffer from loss of self-esteem and confidence; they may need to develop new skills and have access to education about their situation and what is available for help.
Prevention of head injuries is invaluable; protect your head with a helmet when riding bikes, scooters, motorcycles, or horses; while playing football, hockey, baseball or softball.
Wear helmets also when skiing or snowboarding.
Wear seat belts and make sure that infants and children are also securely restrained in moving vehicles.
Don’t drink and drive.
Safety-proof your home from falls.
Never, ever, shake a baby.
Highest risk ages are those under four years of age, 15-19 years of age and those 75 years of age and older.
Signs of brain injury are varied and, if a head injury is suspected or any of the following symptoms are observed or present, contact a physician immediately: headache, confusion, neck pain, blurred vision, instability, fatigue, ringing in the ears, slowness in thinking, speaking or reading.
 


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