Rehabilitation can vary in brain injury patients. This is because no two brain injuries are the same. Having family support is very significant as they have a huge impact on the patient’s level of recovery.
Rehabilitation aids the body’s natural healing abilities. It helps the brain to relearn processes. It speeds up the recovery of a patient and helps him to compensate for the abilities that are permanently altered.
The main focus of rehabilitation is to help the patient to perform the activities of daily living safely and independently.
Brain injury requires a continuous treatment and a community based support empowered by highly educated experts.
Physical medicine and rehabilitation is taken cared of by a physiatrist. He is a specialist and a team leader who assesses, prescribes treatment and directs members of the rehabilitation team.
Someone with expertise in behavior and skills in relation to the structures and brain system is needed especially in assessing the extent of injury to the brain. This is the job of a neuropsychologist. Changes in the speech, dysfunctional communication, impulsiveness, problems with concentration and decision making including loss of memory are dealt by a neuropsychologist.
A rehabilitation nurse aids in improving the patient’s health and adapting in lifestyle changes after a brain injury. He works with the patient and his family and focuses on the head injury patient’s post-injury needs such as nutrition, sleeping problems, pain, mobility, self-care, bladder and bowel incontinence, sexual dysfunction and communication.
Problems with low back pains, knee injuries and other painful orthopedic issues are addressed by a physical therapist. His goal is to minimize any paralyzing aftermath of the brain injury. He treats the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular problems affecting the patient’s motor skills. His goal is enable the patient to function again.
The therapist makes an assessment of the patient’s posture, balance, coordination, pain management, strength. He recommends for patient’s need for support devices.
The ability of a head injury survivor to get back to normal routine when he returns home is the objective of an occupational therapist. He assesses any possible issues or dysfunction in the patient’s vision, cognition, perception, and upper extremity mobility.
He also prepares a brain injury patient to re-learn or improve his skills in cooking, grocery shopping, personal hygiene, banking and return for work duty.
Before a rehabilitation begins, it is very important to identify the best program suited for the patients’ ability to participate.
This happens as early as possible. It is the moment that recovery process begins. The rehabilitation occurs in a special trauma unit. During this stage, a team of expert health professionals works with the patient to regain as many daily activities as possible. These include eating, dressing up, using the bathroom, speaking and walking.
This is the stage when the patient can now participate in a more extensive therapy. Post-acute rehabilitation is commonly done in a transitional rehabilitation facility. The main goal in this stage is to help the patient to become more independent as possible. A therapy can last up to six hours a day.
Some patients cannot tolerate intensive therapies. This type of rehabilitation is specifically designed for those who are able to make progress in the acute rehabilitation phase but are not yet ready to move into a more extensive phase.
Day treatment provides a structured brain injury rehabilitation in a group setting during the day. This enables the patient to return at home during the night. This stage usually happens after a patient gets discharged from a post-acute facility.