Over one million Americans suffer from a traumatic brain injury every year, with approximately 200,000 being hospitalized. According to the CDC, between 70 and 80 percent of those patients are released from the hospital but most times have a long road to a full recovery. Some patients suffer from memory loss and other debilitating conditions that require long-term specialized care, sometimes for lifelong care.
When they return home, patients will need a team of nurses, aides, and other health professionals to ease them back into everyday life. Staying at home provides a level of comfort and familiarity that can aid the recovery process.
At home, patients can receive the attention that they need in one place. There is no need to be jostled from one department to the other to receive vital physical therapy or medication assistance, all of which can be physically and emotionally traumatic for a brain injury survivor. This elevates the convenience factor as the specialists will come to the patient instead of the other way around.
The question then becomes, how can brain injury patients receive high quality care from home?
Every patient’s plan of care for brain injury patients is as unique as they are and home-based recovery that is customized to the needs of the patient is one of the best options. In addition to medical treatment, at-home care allows for the patient to be carefully re-integrated into the family and community. Aspects of their life, such as friends, hobbies, and culture can be slowly integrated into the patient’s care plan on their own terms.
Home care is such a vital component of TBI recovery that choosing who provides care can have a direct impact on healing. In several instances, care cannot be left up to unskilled, well-meaning family members but must be a coordinated effort between different professionals who specialize in varying levels of care.
These services can include private duty nursing by a registered or licensed practical nurse; physical, occupational, respiratory, and/or speech therapists; and home health aides to help with everyday activities like meal preparation, dressing, bathing, grooming, and medication administration.
When seeking a home health aide to provide services to persons recuperating from a brain injury, it is suggested that extensive research be done on the agencies in your area before making a selection. You may want to interview a few home health aides before making your choice.
The following questions can be used to guide the interview process to make sure you find the right fit.
How much experience do you have in providing care to people with brain injuries?
Have you cared for brain injury patients in similar situations to mine and how many cases have you managed?
What training certification do you have that makes you qualified to provide services to brain injury patients?
Finding an aide might be time consuming and should be pursued well before the patient is released from hospital. Patients and their families should start exploring their options as soon as medical advice shows that additional resources will be needed at home.
DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen.