Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Our Approach to Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Younker Rehabilitation offers a comprehensive brain injury rehabilitation approach that provides hope and healing for restored ability and improved quality of life for individuals who have survived a brain injury. Our goal, regardless of the cause or severity of your brain injury, is to get you back to living a productive life with your family.
We recognize that each brain injury is unique, so every patient and family has a rehabilitation plan with goals tailored to meet their needs, capabilities and potential. Family members are always encouraged to be actively involved in their loved one's care and to attend therapy sessions whenever possible so they may reinforce new techniques being taught and learned.
Treatments and Environmental Adaptations
Our interdisciplinary team, led by a physiatrist, develops treatment interventions based on functional ability, cognitive ability and activity tolerance. We utilize a collaborative approach for individuals who have sustained a brain injury to assist with translating newly learned skills to real world situations. This type of treatment maximizes functional independence by incorporating thinking and moving at the same time, which can be difficult to combine after a brain injury.
Brain Injury Rehabilitation Team
The treatment team at Younker Rehabilitation utilizes a system of communication that identifies how the environment should be managed for individuals who have sustained a brain injury, based on that person's needs to help aid in their recovery. This system is an environmental adaptation known as low stimulation or minimal stimulation. Our first priority is keeping our patients safe. To accomplish this goal and improve functional outcomes, we ask that family and friends assist us in maintaining these controlled environments by following the recommendations of the team.
Low Stimulation Environments
Individuals who have sustained a brain injury experience an altered level of awareness, behavior and interaction with their environment as they progress through stages of recovery. A brain that has been injured is often unable to make sense of all the noises, lights, touches and smells that are occurring around the person. To help with recovery following brain injury, it is important to maintain an environment that minimizes these distractions and stimulations. To do this, the staff at Younker Rehabilitation may need to provide an environment that is dim, quiet and calm to prevent the patient's brain from becoming overstimulated. If a patient does show signs of being overstimulated, we may recommend a limitation in visiting hours and number of visitors per visit.
When someone with a brain injury becomes overloaded, they can withdraw and shut down, as demonstrated by avoiding things, turning away or covering up with a pillow or blanket. They can also become agitated as shown by crying, hitting, yelling or thrashing around. When either of these happen, it becomes hard for the patient to participate or even benefit from therapies that day and possibly the next day.
Signs leading to overload can include:
- Decreased attention
- Irritability or anger
- Not wanting to be touched
- Hitting, kicking
- Verbally inappropriate behavior (yelling, screaming, cursing)
- Excessive crying
- Increase in repetitive verbalizations or actions
- Increased aggression toward objects or people
- Thrashing around
One-on-One Care and Supervision
Younker Rehabilitation also provides one-on-one care and supervision as needed. Similar to the use of a low stimulation or minimal stimulation environment, the priority is to keep our patients safe, calm and comfortable as they progress through the stages of recovery.