Offering diagnosis and treatment of communication, hearing, and swallowing disorders
Published: Feb. 24, 2011
Updated: Nov. 3, 2011
Speech-language pathologists (SLP) provide rehabilitation to people who experience traumatic brain injury (TBI), but often the family is left with questions about the rehabilitation process, the logistics of care, and where to find more information.
Below are some frequently asked questions and answers that may provide valuable information to families as they rebuild their lives after TBI:
In North Carolina, brain injury is considered a developmental disability. The NC Division of Mental Health provides support for persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI), including residential services, help finding jobs, case management, and in-home support.
Acute rehabilitation is one option for patients leaving the hospital. Patients receive intensive physical, occupational, and speech therapies in addition to ongoing nursing and medical care.
Individuals must be able to tolerate at least three hours of therapy a day. In general, therapy schedules are highly structured, with rest periods built in to prevent fatigue. Therapists work together to assess strengths and weaknesses then develop comprehensive goals based on individual needs. Often, these goals focus on the patient gaining as much independence as possible.
A skilled nursing facility, also referred to as a sub-acute rehabilitation facility, provides ongoing physical, occupational, and speech therapies emphasizing independence and self-sufficiency.
This is a less intensive setting than acute rehab but continues to provide structure and supervision. Patients must be past the need for intensive medical care.
Home health refers to medical services that are provided in the home. Services may include skilled nursing, speech therapy, occupational therapy, or physical therapy.
Home health services are provided for persons who are homebound or who have significant difficulty leaving home.
Through vocational rehabilitation, an individual receives training in a specific field with the aim of regaining employment and independence. It is an option for someone who is unable to return to his or her previous job due to a disability.
Local Vocational Rehab Offices:
Chapel Hill: 919-969-7350
A TBI support group is a group of individuals (patients, family, and friends) who meet regularly to exchange mutual support, often focusing on issues surrounding TBI. For a more complete list, please refer to the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina's Web site.
Asheville, Smoky Mt. Brain Injury Support Group
Boone, Appalachian Brain Injury Support Group
Chapel Hill, UNC Rehab Brain Injury Support Group
Charlotte, Humpty Dumpty TBI Support Group
Charlotte, Metrolina Brain Injury Association
Durham, Durham Brain Injury Support Group
Fayetteville, Fayetteville Brain Injury Support Group
Goldsboro, Brain Injury Rehab that Helps (BIRTH)
Greensboro, Greater Greensboro Support Group
Henderson, Kerr Lake Brain Injury Support Group
Hickory, Catawba Valley Brain Injury Alliance
Lenoir, Foothills Area Brain Injury Support Group
New Bern, Coastal Brain Injury Support Group
Raleigh, Triangle Brain Injury Support Group
Raleigh, The Force
Statesville, Surviving Angels
Wilmington, Wilmington Brain Injury Support Group
Winston Salem, Piedmont Brain Injury Support Group
Providing care to patients with TBI can be a stressful experience. View a list of online support tools for TBI patient caregivers.
Read the "Caring for the Caregiver a Patient with TBI" care guide.
There are numerous organizations and Web sites dedicated to traumatic brain injury information. View a list of our recommended resources for TBI information.