Returning to Work
A brain aneurysm can leave an individual with a number of persistent impairments that can interfere with his or her ability to work. Cognitive difficulties (issues with attention, memory, and communication), physical challenges (weakness or lack of coordination in arms and legs, impaired vision, and fatigue and sleep problems) and emotional issues (difficulty controlling anger or anxiety, vulnerability to depression or impulsivity) can create significant obstacles in the workplace.
As a result, a person’s job responsibilities may no longer be in sync with his or her abilities and patients and family members may want to talk with employers to determine if adjustments can be made to address these issues. These might include:
- Working fewer hours per week or working from home (for example, switching from full-time to part-time work)
- Taking more breaks throughout the day
- Maintaining a reduced workload or taking on a new role with fewer responsibilities
Neuropsychological testing can be conducted to help define a patients’ deficits as well as to identify their strengths. The neurologist can often help set up this assessment with a neuropsychologist, and having this type of evaluation can give both the patient and family members some idea of the changes that have occurred as a result of the ruptured brain aneurysm.
Each state offers a Vocational Rehabiltation Services program to help individuals with disabilities, including those impaired by brain injury, apply for and receive vocational rehabilitation. Mandated by federal law, these programs provide services that include neuropsychological evaluation, job coaching, and home and vehicle modifications, as well as other support.
In addition, the Ticket to Work program, provided through the Social Security Administration, provides access to employment opportunities for beneficiaries with disabilities.