Brain Injury Canada stated that abrupt movement that moves the brain within the skull causes a concussion, “which is a mild type of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)”.  A type of brain damage left unacknowledged and untreated could worsen. Symptoms associated with a concussion include “amnesia, confusion, headache, loss of consciousness, balance problems or dizziness, double or fuzzy vision, sensitivity to light or noise, nausea, feeling sluggish, foggy, or groggy, feeling unusually irritable, concentration or memory problems, [and] slowed reaction time”.  So what are strategies that can help us understand recovery from traumatic brain injury?

Recovery from traumatic brain injury tends to involve “bed rest, and very limited reading, talking, and brain stimulation”. Upon diagnosis, a doctor may conduct a neurological exam, neuropsychological test, and discussions about brain injury.

Of course, there are many resources for TBI information, but, for the most part there are two common neurological rehabilitation strategies. Restorative rehabilitation focuses on rebuilding neurological networks or repairing processes. On the other hand, compensatory rehabilitation targets the use of adaptive behaviors. R&R Care incorporates both types of treatments for recovery from traumatic brain injury through the following:

  • Examples of restorative rehabilitation*

    • engaging in cognitively stimulating discussions about things like song lyrics and poems
    • playing games such as puzzles, trivia/riddle questions, and “What Am I?” guessing games
    • doing physical exercises that include arm, hand, leg, and feet movements through exercise guidelines provided by occupational therapist
    • baking cookies/cakes
    • various arts and crafts
    • getting individuals to read out numbers, letters, and/or words
    • word search (e.g. thinking of words that remind them of “summer”, or the rhymes with “red”)
    • memory matching game with cards
    • using books that describe the difference between what is/isn’t appropriate in a social setting (for those who lack in understanding social cues within their environment)—asking which is/isn’t appropriate and explaining why that is
    • going for a walk
    • reminiscing about what they can remember from their past (i.e. storytelling)
    • sing-alongs, playing along with instruments or listening to music
    • kicking or catching game with a ball
  • Examples of compensatory rehabilitation*

    • assisting with adaptive cutlery for cerebral palsy
    • utilizing resistance bands, balls, weights and chairs during exercises
    • using balls with texture and/or that are soft (to help with sensory exploration—helps with fine motor skills!)
    • painting with brushes that have larger/longer handles for arts and crafts
    • playing with larger sized playing cards
    • emphasizing movements by using bigger actions
    • asking questions that are not too open-ended (e.g. asking “Would you like to pet the rabbit or go for a walk?” instead of “What would you like to do now?”)
    • talking in a lower tone of voice, a higher volume, or more slowly to compensate for discrepancies in communication
    • limiting hard to chew foods for meals (for those with limited feeding capacities)
    • lending a hand/shoulder to someone while walking while keeping at the individual’s pace (e.g. slower, if needed)
    • creating individualized personal plans to work with specific needs

*Note – some or all have been used for individuals with dementia, cerebral palsy, and other mental limitations

Recovery from traumatic brain injuryTraumatic brain injury information

In conclusion, incorporating many of these examples in our day programs, home care, and companionship services has helped make a difference in how individuals feel about their day.  According to some of our caregivers’ testimonials, is that individuals walk out with an overall positive and happy disposition. As a result, individuals feel that they have just spent their time doing meaningful tasks throughout the day.

For more traumatic brain injury information or to for more resources throughout a recovery from traumatic brain injury, visit Brain Injury Canada. Alternatively, you can contact us for a consultation on how we can help!

Blog written by HECOL student, Mary Joyce Lumangas
Revisions by supervisor, Loana Valdez

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