5 Speech Therapy Strategies After Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

TBI Therapy Goals

The goal of post-acute TBI rehabilitation is to assist the patient in the process of achieving the most autonomous level of functioning conceivable. But achieving independence in communication is always one of the most important needs expressed by TBI patients.  

Speech therapy often takes place in a post-acute brain injury rehabilitation facility intended expressly for the treatment of patients with traumatic brain injury. 

This type of environment permits intensive, long-term rehabilitation by speech-language pathologists (SLPs), physical therapists, occupational therapists, and neuropsychologists at a time when the patient can best profit from such therapy. If you’re wondering, “but… is there such a facility near me?”, then read the whole article because we share this information at the end.

There are 6 different strategies used in post-acute speech therapy in patients with TBI, depending on the level and type of their injuries, type of communication problems, or personal abilities. They can be used separately or combined.

 

1. Therapies for Dysarthria

A brain injury that impairs the nerves in the brain that control muscles can damage speech. A patient may slur words, or the speech sounds can be slow, too weak, or sound stifled, like a mumble. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) refers to this condition as dysarthria.

The speech therapist’s objective involves developing the patient’s speech coherence. Rehabilitation includes exercises to regulate lip and tongue coordination, increase breath support, and improve muscle power in the mouth, jaw, tongue, and throat.

 

2. Therapies for Aphasia

A different condition associated with brain injury is aphasia, where patients have trouble voicing sounds and syllables. They know what words they want to say, but have difficulty sequencing them. They can’t find the right words.

The speech therapist’s objective for aphasia includes exercises to slow the pace of speech and enunciate words accurately. If the condition is severe, the therapist may add a communication device to facilitate communication:

  • No-tech communication tools: signaling and pointing. 
  • Low-tech communication tools: pen and paper, a whiteboard or images. 
  • High-tech communication tools: text-to-speech apps, communication apps, communication devices.

Learn more about aphasia from this TED-Ed video:

3. Improving Memory

Memory is very important for speech and communication. A speech therapist frequently introduces memory support to support language building skills for the brain injury patient.  

The SLP takes the time to train the patient on how to use memory aids, such as a memory log, calendar, documented schedule, or a log, to improve memory. With the help of exercises, they help the patient develop competency as well as communication.

 

4. Improving Social Language Skills

According to ASHA, people with TBI may need to learn from the beginning how to read nonverbal signs such as body language and facial expressions. They may equally need to learn how to react to a typical conversation.

Developing social language skills may let the patient counterbalance other speech problems they face, like understandability. Patients can learn to compensate with facial expressions, eye contact, and gestures to enhance their communication.

Speech therapists usually work with individuals in smaller groups to strengthen these social language skills.

 

5. Improving Cognitive Communication Skills

As part of their post-acute brain injury rehabilitation, individuals with brain injuries may find it difficult to process new information, so they will also need to acquire skills for planning and composing their thoughts. 

They need to be able to ask relevant questions, concentrate on tasks, and remember names and numbers. When completing steps to any presented task, they need to learn to recall the peculiar sequence as well as any safety precautions. A speech therapist consolidates these goals with the rehabilitation plan.

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Continued Support for Brain Injury Recovery

Patients with traumatic brain injury need continuous assistance. Studies show that only 3% of TBI patients use speech therapy 10 years after the injury occurrence. The speech therapist plays one role among many crucial ones on the patient’s path to brain injury healing.

If you have any questions about speech therapy after a TBI, contact NeuLife Rehabilitation

 

NeuLife Rehabilitation –  post-acute brain injury rehabilitation facility

NeuLife Rehabilitation is one of the best TBI rehab centers with specialized catastrophic rehabilitation programs for a wide range of catastrophic injuries. 

Our programs for neuro rehab, including cognitive therapy, are customized to meet the individual needs of each patient, and care plans are structured to promote the highest level of functional independence and successful community reintegration. Through the skills and experience of our highly trained team of clinical experts, including speech therapists, we are able to treat a wide range of diagnoses and injuries at our brain injury facility.

If you have any more questions concerning post-acute brain injury rehabilitation or any other issue regarding brain injury, call us to make an appointment today. You can also schedule a tour to visit our best brain injury facility. 

 

sources: 

https://www.ncmedicaljournal.com/content/ncm/76/2/105.full.pdf 

https://www.brainline.org/article/traumatic-brain-injury-cognitive-and-communication-disorders 

 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

How COVID-19 Affects Post-acute Residential Rehabilitation for TBI Patients

Residential rehabilitation programs are necessary for some patients who have to undergo consistent therapy. Throughout post-acute rehabilitation, patients are assisted, monitored, and supervised by trained personnel so that they can recover well. Some traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients are on these programs because they need 24-hour support and assistance for their daily activities, medications, and behavioral management.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected TBI patients in residential rehabilitation programs in more ways than anticipated. Here are just some of the problems being faced by some rehab centers:

1. Limited visitors 

Because of social distancing or stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread of the virus, post-acute rehabilitation facilities temporarily limit the number of visitors for TBI patients. This could trigger a psychological effect because the patient is not getting support from their caregivers or family members.

Studies show that emotional support is vital to the recovery of TBI patients who may be experiencing feelings of anxiety, depression, and anger, among other emotional issues. At Neulife Rehab, we make sure that patients get the emotional and moral support they need as the situation requires.

Green Soy Health Benefits Infographic - How COVID-19 Affects Post-acute Residential Rehabilitation for TBI Patients

2. Stress to the patients and relatives

Recovering from TBI is already stressful enough for patients and their relatives, even without the threat of a pandemic, and some TBI patients may already be suffering from anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Stress also makes the immune system vulnerable, which is the last thing we all need in the time of COVID-19

There’s also an added stress on rehabilitation workers to ensure that the facility is safe. So as well as helping TBI patients with their therapies and health issues, healthcare workers need to ensure that the facility is virus-free and that staff members observe the measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Since the start of this pandemic, staying at home has been actively encouraged. Some patients have opted to attend virtual rehabilitation programs and join online support groups. Although these sound like good alternatives, patients can recover better when admitted to a post-acute rehabilitation facility as well equipped and staffed as Neulife Rehab.

Aside from having a supportive community that understands what you need and why you need it, you also have a structured day that lets you focus on getting better and nothing else. One more benefit of residential rehabilitation is direct contact with rehab experts, something that is not possible in virtual rehabilitation. These factors can ease the patient’s stress levels and their loved ones’ as well, knowing that the patient is in good hands.

3. Shortage of staff

In this public health crisis, rehabilitation staff may also be limited in some areas as workers might be called upon to take care of COVID-19 cases instead of TBI patients. While remote, home visits, or telemedicine may be possible, the level of service and care might not be enough to meet the needs of a TBI patient compared to what a residential rehab can provide. At Neulife Rehab, we make sure that there are enough staff and experts who will attend to the needs of our patients.

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Learn more about Neulife Rehab

NeuLife Rehabilitation is one of the largest brain injury residential facilities specializing in rehabilitation for a wide range of catastrophic injuries. We are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in Brain Injury Specialty Programs and Residential Rehabilitation.

 

We would like to inform you that NEULIFE REHABILITATION REMAINS OPEN AND DILIGENT THROUGH THE COVID-19 CRISIS. We remain open for business with the ability to admit those in need of ongoing Post-Acute Rehabilitation Services. Our first priority is the safety of our patients and valuable team members.

 

Our professional staff make sure that you and your family are being taken care of by the best specialists in the area. We encourage you to find out more about our facility and our programs. 

Here are some tips on how to choose a residential rehab in the time of COVID-19. If you have any questions at all, we are here for you. Call us or make a referral using our easy to navigate and convenient online form. We are looking forward to helping you achieve your recovery goals.

 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

What to Consider When Choosing a Residential Neurorehabilitation Center In The Time of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted many basic and essential services as cases continue to rise. It’s also raising concerns and anxieties as more restrictions are imposed to slow down the spread of the virus.

In these uncertain times, you could be in a dilemma about committing to a residential neurorehabilitation center. Should you go ahead and still seek treatment? Here are some things to think about in considering a facility in the time of COVID-19.

 

1. Does the facility have COVID-19 safety measures in place?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with compromised immune systems are most at risk for COVID-19. If you need neurorehabilitation then you’re likely suffering from pain, disorders, reduced bodily functions, and other conditions that have impaired your nervous system. 

By seeking rehabilitation then you can get the right treatment from a team of experts and medical professionals. At Neulife brain injury residential facilities, we are taking strict precautionary measures and following the coronavirus guidelines imposed by the CDC and the government to ensure the health and safety of everyone at the facility.

For everyone’s safety and peace of mind, we conduct daily screening on our staff and we do not allow anyone with symptoms to enter the facility.

 

2. Does the facility have protocols for sessions and visitations? 

During COVID-19, experts are recommending limiting social interaction and face-to-face meetings. At Neulife Rehab, we are restricting all visitation to our facility in light of the current health crisis. Our facility also complies with the mandate of the State of Florida, so we have canceled all tours and events temporarily.

 

3. Is housekeeping also COVID-19 ready?

Aside from social distancing practices and limiting social contact, our facility also performs stringent measures of disinfection and cleaning to avoid any form of contamination. All our staff and medical personnel strictly observe hand washing as well as necessary precautionary measures.

 

4. Is the facility responsive to the needs of patients?

The COVID-19 outbreak doesn’t change the need for neuro patients to undergo rehabilitation. After all, this is why our patients are here, to achieve full recovery. At Neulife Rehab, we make sure that we have available employees who will continue to provide patients with high-quality care. We make sure that our services remain accessible and available to patients who need them.

Green Soy Health Benefits Infographic - What to Consider When Choosing a Residential Neurorehabilitation Center In The Time of COVID-19

Where to find the best neuro rehab near me?

NeuLife Rehabilitation is one of the largest brain injury residential facilities specializing in rehabilitation for a wide range of catastrophic injuries. We are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in Brain Injury Specialty Programs and Residential Rehabilitation.

We would like to inform you that NEULIFE REHABILITATION REMAINS OPEN AND DILIGENT THROUGH THE COVID-19 CRISIS. We remain open for business with the ability to admit those in need of ongoing Post-Acute Rehabilitation Services. Our first priority is the safety of our patients and valuable team members.

 

Our professional staff make sure that you and your family are being taken care of by the best specialists in the area. We encourage you to find out more about our facility and our programs. If you have any questions at all, we are here for you. Call us or make a referral using our easy to navigate and convenient online form. We are looking forward to helping you achieve your recovery goals.

 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Brain Injury Clinic – How long does it take to recover from a concussion?

A concussion is a form of mild traumatic brain injury that typically occurs when a person suffers a direct hit to the head or a whiplash injury. This leads to coup and countercoup movement, where the outside force causes the brain to accelerate against the skull before decelerating and hitting the back of the skull.

These movements can lead to bruising and swelling of brain tissues. Damage to blood vessels and nerves may also happen.

To find out more about TBI check out our article: TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI): ARE YOU AT RISK?

Data from the Brain Injury Research Institute has shown that every year, approximately 10% of athletes who engage in contact sports sustain concussion injuries. Furthermore, 1.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from traumatic brain injuries, with at least 1 TBI case occurring every 15 seconds.

In some cases, the MRI or CT scan doesn’t show any abnormalities; however, the patient may experience various symptoms that indicate the concussion. Furthermore, the symptoms often don’t show up for hours or even days after the accident took place.

What are some of the symptoms of a concussion?

According to the Brain Injury Association of America, the symptoms may include, but are not limited to:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Tinnitus (ringing in ears)brain injury how long takes recover concussion scaled - Brain Injury Clinic - How long does it take to recover from a concussion?
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light,
  • Irritability
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Impulsivity
  • Lack of initiation
  • Impaired awareness
  • Attention
  • Word-finding and memory problems
  • Difficulty filtering noise
  • Trouble focusing
  • Drowsiness
  • Insomnia, and/or altered sleep patterns

Recovering from a concussion

Many patients often fail to report the injury and the concussion remains undetected. Unfortunately, when the concussion is left untreated, it may take much longer to recover from it.

Most people fully recover from concussion within 1 month. The recovery time  should take an average of 7-10 days. However, the length of the recovery largely depends on the severity of the injury, the time it took the patient to seek treatment, the patient’s adherence to the rehabilitation regimen, and the presence of pre-existing medical conditions. In rare cases, recovery can take longer than 6 weeks, which is known as post-concussion syndrome.

Although the severity of brain damage that patients sustain from concussions is mild, the consequences to health and wellbeing may not be. Without timely treatment, recovery might be slower. Therefore, if you have suffered any blow to the head, experts at Neulife Rehab and Brain Injury Center strongly recommend that you seek medical consultation.

This is extremely important as only medical experts can determine the full extent of the injury and the best course of treatment. Worse cases usually warrant a visit to a reputable post-acute rehab facility to help patients return to their pre-injury state in the soonest and safest possible time.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following factors may further delay recovery:

  • History of brain injury

  • Learning difficulties

  • Mental health problem

  • Stress

When you are on the road to full recovery, do not overexert yourself. Experts warn against returning to your normal physical activity until you are given the go-ahead by your doctor. If you sustain a second concussion without fully recovering from the first one, then this can have very serious health consequences.

At Neulife Rehab our team of qualified professionals helps our patients return to their pre-injury state through physical therapy, occupational therapy, and many other scientifically-proven rehabilitation practices. At first, you might find it harder to process information. However, this stage is temporary and you will see improvements as you continue with the rehabilitation.

Here are some tips to help you quickly recover from a concussion

  • It is important to increase your activity levels gradually

  • Take much-needed breaks in between to prevent fatigue 

  • Make sure to get an adequate amount of sleep

  • Drink a lot of water, and maintain a healthy diet. 

  • Do not drink alcohol during the recovery period, as the dehydration it causes will slow down the recovery process. 

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With the guidance of our staff at Neulife Rehab, you will achieve recovery.

NeuLife Rehabilitation – the best choice for a Brain Injury Center

 

NeuLife Rehabilitation is one of the largest residential post-acute rehab programs specializing in rehabilitation for a wide range of catastrophic injuries. We are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in Brain Injury Specialty Programs and Residential Rehabilitation.

Our professional staff make sure that you and your family are being taken care of by the best specialists in the area. We encourage you to find out more about our facility and our programs. If you have any questions at all, we are here for you. Call us or make a referral using our easy to navigate and convenient online form. We are looking forward to helping you achieve your recovery goals.

 

How long take recover from concussion scaled - Brain Injury Clinic - How long does it take to recover from a concussion?

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health

3 Cognitive Therapy Strategies After Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Most common cognitive impairments following TBI

The nature and extent of the cognitive impairment following TBI can range widely, depending on the severity and positioning of the injury. If a focal brain injury transpires, the outcome could be comparable to an injury provoked by a CVA (Cerebrovascular accident or stroke), such as 

  • aphasia
  • apraxia
  • unilateral neglect
  • visuospatial dysfunction.

Nevertheless, these are the usual findings following TBI. Due to the mechanisms of acceleration-deceleration that oftentimes degrades the ventral and lateral areas of the frontal and temporal lobes, the most commonly encountered sequelae are attention and memory deficiency, difficulty in adhering new data, solving problems, planning, but also problems linked to impulsivity and self-control. 

Some “subclinical” findings such as a change in naming, verbal fluency, and auditory perception are also reported. In the initial stages, attention deficits are the most frequent and severe in the residual stage, usually concerning difficulty in sustaining divided attention. The long-term memory is usually regained, but some patients maintain difficulties in learning new information and in remembering it.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

One of the most important elements in post-acute brain injury rehabilitation is cognitive therapy.  Cognitive Behavior Therapy aids people in achieving specific changes or goals, which might include:

  • A way of acting: eg. smoking less or being more sociable;
  • A way of feeling:  eg. encouraging a person to be less afraid, less depressed, or less worried;
  • A way of thinking: eg. learning problem resolution or getting rid of self-deprecating feelings;
  • A way of managing physical or medical problems: eg. reducing back pain or supporting a person in following the doctor’s instructions.

Cognitive Behavior Therapists customarily concentrate more on the present circumstances and their resolution, rather than the past. They focus on a person’s viewpoints and beliefs about their life, not on personality characteristics. 

Cognitive Behavior Therapy treats patients, as well as their parents, children, life partners, and families. Superseding outdated, ineffective ways of living, with ways of living that work, and helping patients gain better control over their lives, is the main goal of cognitive behavior therapy.

Here are three strategies which will allow therapists and the caregivers to set the best conditions for cognitive therapy of TBI patients in post-acute brain injury rehabilitation:

1. Promote Self-Awareness

The treatment of most executive cognitive functions starts with supporting the self-awareness of deficiencies. Without recognizing how impairments influence performance, a patient might be resistant to cooperation with therapists on a program of recovery.

For instance, it is challenging for the therapist to work on an anger management program or problem-solving strategies with a patient who doesn’t understand that they face these difficulties.

2. Develop Goals

Goal-setting considerably affects community participation. A patient without goals has trouble making decisions and becoming motivated to succeed in overcoming the challenges that go with the TBI functional recovery.

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For example, when patients are asked to “consider the consequences” of a specific action, they might be urged to examine the result of this action on the outcome of their goals, like independent living, work, academic progress, more satisfying relationships, etc. Absence of goals compromises behavior change, decision-making, and motivation.

3. Facilitate Problem-Solving Skills

Through functional activities that build both self-awareness and self-confidence, patients may re-establish meaningful life roles and an efficient everyday routine, even when confronted with residual deficits. These qualities, in turn, will allow patients to solve their daily problems more effectively and with confidence. 

In the therapeutic relationship, it’s crucial to know how to rate activities, strengthen patient’s self-esteem, and promote long-term patient participation in a home setting and the community.

If, after reading this article, you believe a TBI rehab center is the way to go when it comes to your cognitive therapy needs, and you are wondering “where will I find the best neuro rehab near me?”, look no further.

NeuLife Rehabilitation –  one of the best TBI rehab centers!

NeuLife Rehabilitation is one of the best TBI rehab centers with specialized catastrophic rehabilitation programs for a wide range of catastrophic injuries. 

Our programs for neuro rehab, including cognitive therapy, are customized to meet the individual needs of each patient, and care plans are structured to promote the highest level of functional independence and successful community reintegration. Through the skills and experience of our highly trained team of clinical experts, we are able to treat a wide range of diagnoses and injuries at our brain injury facility.

If you have any more questions concerning post-acute brain injury rehabilitation or any other issue regarding brain injury, call us to make an appointment today. You can also schedule a tour to visit our best brain injury facility. 

source: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11940-002-0004-6 

 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.