Post Stroke: What to Do When You Leave Inpatient Rehabilitation
The road to recovery from traumatic brain injury is never easy. After inpatient rehabilitation, the patient goes back home for another kind of therapy sessions.
For TBI patients and their families, if you think you’ve been through a lot already and you are really excited to come home and start home therapy, Sean Entin, founder of Move2Improve Foundation and a victim of TBI some years back, said that rehabilitation at home is a very different process.
Most patients think that they are ready to come home but what they don’t realize is that it is very different when you are at home than when you are in the hospital, Entin explains in his video blog. The patient does not have easy access to a nurse within a push of a button. Instead, the family members and the caregiver are the ones who take care of the TBI survivor. Once the patient is at home, the therapist comes to the house once or twice a week. “There’s going to be a lot of input,” Entin says. But, during the rest of the week, the patient and his family are on their own.
The most important thing to remember is this: get some rest. The hospital environment is far different from everything outside. There is noise everywhere. For a TBI patient who just got out of in-patient rehabilitation, everything would come to him or her real fast. There would be too much noise and too much light. There are patients who would be very excited to know what they’ve missed during the time that they were confined in the hospital. They want to read and watch some TV. They want to catch up on everything. However, this is not the proper way to go.
To let the brain heal, it is important to get some sleep and rest at home. Make sure to keep everything in low volume.
The patient should have quiet time since during all this time, from inpatient rehabilitation to home therapy, what you are doing is to give the brain the chance to heal. Therefore, you should not force the brain to work by straining your eyes from watching too much TV or doing tasks that would get in the way of your healing.
During therapy sessions, the patient should let the therapist help him or her. Every little move counts, Entin explains. Even if the patient is already at home, remember that “you are not yet back,” he further. Help is very important since the worst thing that can happen to someone who is recovering from TBI is to fall. “Do not try to do things yourself,” he added.
To avoid accidents, Entin advised that patients should try to stay at home most of the time. There are plenty of things to do that would speed up the process of recovery. Playing puzzles and mind games help, but make sure to rest the brain afterwards. Even counting money is a great way to jumpstart the healing process.
Also, eating nutritious foods and drinking supplements rich in Vitamin B12 and omega-3 are highly recommended by Entin. Avoid processed food and fast food. The goal, while healing the brain, is also to rebuild the body.
“Little by little, it’s going to come back,” said Entin.