All Posts Tagged: Inpatient Rehab

Benefits of Rehabilitation in Traumatic Brain Injuries

The primary goal of inpatient rehabilitation after a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury is for the patient to improve function – both physically and cognitively. But the course of treatment for one patient may be completely different for another.

Inpatient rehabilitation is for patients who have a traumatic brain injury that prevents them from returning home after their hospital stay (usually in an intensive care unit). But the goals in the ICU – which include achieving medical stability and preventing a medical crisis – are different from the goals of the inpatient rehabilitation team.

Common Problems Addressed by Inpatient Rehabilitation

There are four common issues that an inpatient rehabilitation team addresses when treating someone who has suffered a brain injury: thinking, physical, sensory and emotional.

  1. With thinking problems, patients often have difficulty with memory, language, concentration, judgment, and problem-solving.
  2. .Common physical problems include a lack of coordination, a loss of strength, as well as issues with movement and swallowing.
  3. Patients may also deal with sensory problems such as changes in vision, smell, hearing, and touch.
  4. Patients who’ve suffered brain injuries may deal with emotional problems such as mood changes, irritability, and impulsiveness.

The Benefits of Inpatient Rehabilitation

The specific therapies in an inpatient rehab facility for those suffering from brain injuries varies from patient to patient. Most patients will receive at least three hours of therapy per day, five to seven days a week. The patient will likely see a physician at least three times per week while the rehabilitation team will consist of a highly-trained team of practitioners including a rehabilitation nurse, physical and occupational therapists, a social worker, a speech-language pathologist, and others.

Your family will also be an important part of your rehabilitation team. They will get to know your team’s members, participate in therapy sessions when possible, as well discuss the discharge process.

Types of Inpatient Rehabilitation

Those who’ve suffered from brain injuries need varying levels of care, and the length of the recovery process depends on the needs of each patient.

Inpatient rehabilitation often begins as soon as possible after the patient has been determined to be medically stable. During the initial stages, the rehab team will often work with the patient to regain their activities of daily living: dressing, eating, toileting, walking, speaking, and more.

Once the patient is healthy enough to take on more intensive therapy, the next phase involves helping the patient develop the most independent level of functioning possible. Part of this rehabilitation may involve teaching the patient new ways to compensate for physical or cognitive abilities that have been permanently damaged by their injury.

The final stages of recovery often involve preparing the patient to return to independent living and/or work. Again, the family plays an important role in this process as they learn ways to make their loved one’s transition as easy as possible. Leaving inpatient rehabilitation can produce plenty of anxiety, but effective preparation will help ease those concerns.

 

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American Stroke Association Recommends In-Patient Rehab For Stroke Recovery

Over 750,000 people suffer a stroke each year in the United States, and quality physical therapy and rehabilitation are vital after the stroke to manage residual disability. Studies show that in-patient rehabilitation facilities are more effective in treating patients recovering from strokes.

In May, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Stroke Association (ASA) released guidelines for rehabilitation after a stroke. The ASA strongly recommends that patients receive treatment at an in-patient rehabilitation facility (IRF) whenever possible. Treatment in an IRF produces enhanced functional outcomes with a shorter length of stay than treatment at other facilities, such as a nursing home.

Why are in-patient facilities more beneficial to stroke patients? The AHA and ASA agree that there are a variety of reasons:

Extensive Rehab

A patient in an IRF receives at least three hours a day of rehabilitation from physical, occupational, and speech therapists. Nurses are available around the clock, and doctors usually visit on a daily basis. Being treated by a team approach also helps the patient understand the importance of their rehabilitation during the early recovery period from their stroke. Also, patients benefit most from the comprehensive, goal-oriented rehabilitation programs that IRFs provide.

The fact that stroke patients have better overall outcomes and rehabilitation success in IRFs than in other facilities has been proven in studies for at least a decade. A 2006 study showed that IRF patients at the six-month mark of recovery had fewer ADL (activities of daily living) difficulties than patients treated in other facilities, as well as better functional improvements overall. Additionally, patients who suffered severe motor disabilities experienced better overall recovery and function through treatment in an in-patient facility.

Newest Technology and Equipment

IRFs often have access to the latest technology and equipment used in stroke recovery therapy. An example of new technology includes constraint-induced movement therapy, which is a way of forcing intensive skilled use of upper limbs that have been weakened by a stroke.

Aftercare

IRF staff members are trained to assist both the stroke patient and his or her caregivers in developing a structured program for when the patient returns home.

  •   This includes education about making changes in the home so that it’s safer, such as minimizing fall risks.
  •   Education and training on how to safely use assistive devices such as walkers, wheelchair, and canes.
  •   An individually-tailored exercise program so patients can safely continue their cardiovascular and overall fitness after their formal rehabilitation is complete.

The bottom line, experts say, is that a patient recovering from a stroke can fulfill their potential through a coordinated effort between a diverse team of professionals – such as that found at an in-patient rehabilitation facility – as well as the patient, their family, and caregivers.

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