Traumatic brain injuries are common results of vehicle crashes. A driver may hit his head on the steering wheel; a passenger could strike her head on the dashboard.
Rehabilitation is a lengthy process for people with a TBI. There are major milestones to be met along with the constant repetition of basic activities that must be relearned.
A brain injury causes impairment of some kind that cannot be fixed. Through rehabilitation, a survivor will learn to recognize a deficit and how to compensate for it. The first order of business in a rehabilitation program is for the patient to relearn the activities of daily living, often referred to as ADLs. These are ordinary activities, such as bathing, grooming, dressing, eating and walking. Something as basic as moving from a sitting to a standing position must be relearned.
Keeping a journal
As the rehabilitation process goes on, the brain injury patient will be working with a diminished memory. Help comes in the form of a daily planner. The patient learns to keep a detailed planner that he or she will consult several times a day. For example, there may be instructions as to the items that a patient should set out before going to bed: pills to take at a certain time, the clothes to put on in the morning and more.
Both physical and cognitive issues
The car crash may have caused broken bones, damaged vertebrae or other physical problems in addition to the brain injury. Rehabilitation will be required for both the physical issues and those directly related to the brain, such as impaired balance or spasticity, behavioral or emotional problems, communication and social issues.
Managing medical bills
The recovery from a brain injury takes time. Rehabilitation is also expensive, which is why the victim of a car crash will likely rely on financial compensation to cover present and future medical bills. A patient with a TBI may understand little about medical bills, however. It is tough enough to learn how to tie shoelaces all over again, but through rehabilitation, it is possible.