empowering the severely brain injured and their families via support, understanding and a network of care

Rehabiliation and Care following a brain injury

When you hear the words “brain injury” or “brain damage,” it is an extremely scary thing – it means the destruction or degeneration of brain cells. To many people, this conjures images of permanent physical or mental disability. But that is not always the case; in many cases, the brain can repair itself.

Hospital to Home

Before a person is discharged from hospital a formal discharge meeting takes place. This should be a multi-discipline meeting which is attended by social services, hospital/rehabilitation staff and family members. The patients GP may also attend.

Prior to being sent home the patient may be allowed home for short stays as a trial run to being sent home. This will help with the transitions from hospital to home and to check that the home environment will the suitable. For example, if a patient is in a wheelchair they may need a ramp, wider doorways etc. The hospital team will be able to give advice on care and adaptations, and how this could be funded. We have a Guide to Funding of Care and Welfare Benefits which may also assist you.

Following a brain injury people can left with a variety of psychological and physical problems and these may be helped by an intensive period of inpatient rehabilitation. On release from hospital or following a period of being at home, there may not be a place available at a rehabilitation unit, a person may be transferred to a specialise brain injury rehabilitation unit for further treatment.

When is person is transferred home, the following areas need to be assessed:

• Will his/her home environment be safe?
• Could there be any risks to others (e.g. children)?
• What remaining difficulties does the patient have? And how these can be met.
• Does the home environment cater for his/her physical needs? (particularly if a person is in a wheelchair – need to consider how the person can bath/shower, go to the toilet, get to bed, leave/enter the house etc.)
• How will his/her continuing needs for rehabilitation be met?
• What type of support will be needed at home? And how this can be provided.

On leaving hospital the patient and family members should be given contact details of the neurological rehabilitation team, so that they can contact someone if further advice is needed.