What supports are out there?

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search

Once a survivor of TBI returns to the community, there are many different supports and services that need
to be put in place. These supports and services can range from a supportive living environment, counselling, one
on one community assistance, day programs, outpatient rehabilitation, family support, and support groups.

Supportive Living Environment: Not all individuals of TBI are able to live independently after the accident.
Some will need to be supported in a 24/7 living situation. For many this can be a group home where 4-5 individuals
with the same needs are living together in a supportive living environment with staff always available. For others
this can mean a nursing home or a long term care living facility. Another supportive living environment would be a
supported roommate or family where an individual lives with a single person or a family that is able to provide them
with the daily supports that they may need. Normally the hospital team will determine before discharge what type of
support an individual will need upon returning to the community.

Community Assistance: Some individuals of TBI are able to live independently, but may need short term assistance
in regaining some of the skills that were lost. These skills could be learning how to cook, organize their day, or return
to work,

Return to Work: The severity of the TBI will determine whether or not an individual is able to return to work.
If someone is cognitively able to return to work, there are many programs that can be funded through insurance that would
be able to assist with return to work training and determining what skills an individual still has and what skills are needed.

Counselling: Many individuals of TBI often feel that a part of them is lost; counselling is an effective way for many to
deal with the change that has happened. For some, the counselling that they receive from the social worker is enough, while for
others they need more in-depth counselling. It is important to effectively research counsellors before engaging in services,
for not all counsellors understand TBI and it is important to find a counsellor that suits the individual. Most counselling is
not publicly funded; therefore insurance can be beneficial if counselling is needed.

Day Program: In some circumstances the brain injury has been severe enough that an individual is not able to return to
“normal” functions of everyday life. It is crucial that some sort of stimulation and ongoing cognitive stimulation take place
in order for the brain to stay active and alert and to combat the onset of depression. In this case, suitable brain injury day
programs or a regimented routine of activity would be a good option. A social worker or recreational therapist would be able to
assist with finding appropriate programs and services.

Outpatient Rehabilitation: After discharge from the hospital, many individuals still need to have ongoing outpatient
rehabilitation. Some may be continued to be seen by the same team through the hospital, but on an outpatient basis, while
others may start with a new clinic and a new team at a purely outpatient clinic. Through outpatient rehabilitation, many
of the supports and skills from the OT and social worker will be transitioned into a community living situation.

Family Support: When an individual has an MVA and a brain injury is the result, it is not only the individual who goes
through the grief, loss and changes, but the family also suffers a lot. There are support groups and counselling services that
are geared for families; primarily parents, spouses and children of survivors of brain injury, to assist them with the transition
and the changes in their loved one. Often the social worker or occupational therapist will assist in finding the appropriate
resources and will assist in the family in the transition.

Support Groups: It can be overwhelming to find out that one now has a brain injury and that life as they once knew it will
never be the same. For many they feel alone and do not know where to turn. Support groups through brain injury agencies can
provide individuals from all walks of life and from all types of TBI to connect, form friendships and partnerships and to feel as
if they are one.

Case Management: Case Management is normally provided to individuals of TBI through their local brain injury agency. A case manager
or service coordinator, is often a social worker or will perform the same role as a social worker and assist an individual within
the community. They often will provide supports, services, referrals and help someone connect back to the community after a TBI.