Most people who have had a significant brain injury will require rehabilitation. They may need to relearn basic skills such as walking, eating, or talking; the goal is to improve their abilities to function at home and in the community.
As early as possible in the recovery process, individuals who sustain brain injuries will begin acute rehabilitation. The treatment is provided in a special unit of the trauma hospital, a rehabilitation hospital or another inpatient setting. During acute rehabilitation, a team of health professionals with experience and training in brain injury work with the patient to regain as many activities of daily living as possible. Activities of daily living including dressing, eating, toileting, walking, speaking and more.
When patients are well enough to participate in more intensive therapy, they may be transferred to a post-acute rehabilitation setting, such as a residential rehabilitation facility. The goal of post-acute rehabilitation is to help the patient regain the most independent level of functioning possible. Rehabilitation also involves learning new ways to compensate for abilities that have permanently changed due to brain injury.
Patients who cannot tolerate intensive therapy may be transferred to a sub-acute rehabilitation facility. Sub-acute rehabilitation programs are designed for persons with brain injury who need a less intensive level of rehabilitation services over a longer period of time. Sub-acute programs may also be designed for persons who have made progress in the acute rehabilitation setting and are still progressing but are not making rapid functional gains. Sub-acute rehabilitation may be provided in a variety of settings, often a skilled nursing facility or nursing home.