Rehabilitation for TBI Patients
Patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) need help to recover. Many patients will reach maximum improvement but never regain their full potential. Rehabilitation is an integral part of recovery, which helps TBI patients find the extent of their limitations and the limits to their improvement. In the process, patients also learn to redefine their new lives in a positive and productive way.
Immediately after Injury
The emotional journey from the time of injury to discharge from care is a difficult one. Immediately after the brain injury, moderately and severely injured patients may need intensive hospital care. After stabilizing, patients can move to subacute care units or to independent rehabilitation hospitals. From there, treatment can take many directions, depending on the patient, the injury and the extent of brain damage. Many options exist because there are so many types of brain injuries.
Choosing a Setting for Therapy
Choosing the right setting for rehabilitation can make a great difference in outcome for a patient. Some will need more care than others. In addition, psychiatric and physical problems resulting from the TBI sometimes require medication. TBI patients are more likely to suffer medication side effects or adverse reactions and require special monitoring by doctors. In such cases, in-patient care may be warranted until patients become accustomed to the medication.
Home-based rehabilitation may help the patient feel more comfortable. Hospital outpatient rehabilitation is an option for patients who do not need constant supervision, but require specialized equipment for their physical therapy treatments. Day programs are a good balance for those who need close attention but can safely to live at home.
A trained neuropsychologist will test the patient’s skills and abilities in cognition, language, behavior, movements and executive functions. This expert can then create a plan for rehabilitation that will outline the different areas that need improvement. This plan will typically draw on the expertise of several specialists.
The injured may meet with a physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, physiatrist, psychiatrist, social worker or any combination of these. Each specialist will help the patient reach maximum improvement in a certain functional area. A team coordinator or administrator will work to keep all of these individuals up to date on the patient’s improvement.
Goals of Rehabilitation
Brain injuries often cause problems in every aspect of living. The goal of the therapist is to bring the patient to the best possible functional ability at home and in society as a whole. Therapists teach patients to adapt to the disabilities or to alter the environment to meet their new needs. As much as possible, a patient’s family must be involved in care and treatment to help everyone adjust to the new way of living brought on by TBI.
If you or someone you love suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact our office. Our experienced brain injury specialists will meet with you at no cost and help you decide if a brain injury lawsuit is the right course of action for you.