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Inpatient Brain Injury Rehabilitation

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The UPMC Rehabilitation Institute's dedicated brain injury unit at UPMC Mercy, can provide a variety of services for people with brain injuries and their families.

These inpatient services include:

  • Rehabilitation nursing
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech-language pathology
  • Case management
  • Neuropsychology

You and your family members will work with the integrated patient care team during rehab to help improve:

  • Communications and cognitive abilities
  • Problems with swallowing
  • Physical function and daily living skills

You also may see a neuropsychologist, whose expertise is the relationship between the brain and behavior.

Relearning Skills

Rehabilitation for a brain injury usually focuses around relearning skills you may have lost because of the injury.

Relearning these skills will be complemented by a daily plan of different activities. These activities give you opportunities to relearn and practice.

Education begins on the first day of rehabilitation and continues throughout the process.

The UPMC Rehabilitation Institute staff is committed to the highest quality of care and guiding patients and their families in reaching their rehabilitation goals.

Skilled Rehab

Skilled rehabilitation programs provide nursing and therapy services for patients who need rehabilitation care, but cannot handle three daily hours of acute rehabilitation.

The skilled rehabilitation programs can be an interim step between the acute care hospital and the acute rehabilitation.

How Long You Will Stay

The length of time in rehabilitation depends on the:

  • Severity of your brain injury
  • Functions affected by your injury
  • Your individual progress

A case manager will work with your treatment team to help coordinate your individual plan of care.

This means that the appropriate resources will be used not only while you're in the hospital, but when you're ready to go home.

Family Involvement

Family participation is vital for brain injury patients to achieve maximum benefit from the rehabilitation program.

We encourage family members to come to the hospital on a regular basis — not just to visit — but to learn about brain injury and to take an active role in treatments.

Active participation:

  • Keeps family members informed of the patient’s progress.
  • Educates the family on how to safely and effectively help the patient with everyday tasks.
  • Makes the patient's transition to the next phase of rehabilitation proceed more smoothly.

Family members can help in the following ways

  • Attend occupational, physical, and speech therapy sessions.
  • Spend time with the nurses to understand medication schedules.
  • Encourage and help your loved one practice new skills he or she has learned in therapy.
  • Visit the patient and do the things he or she enjoys, such as:
    • Relaxing
    • Listening to the radio
    • Playing cards
  • Participate in activities and meals.
  • Learn what the patient can do alone, and what he or she needs help doing.
  • Ask the doctors, nurses, and therapists questions.
  • Eat well, get enough rest, and take breaks from caregiving as needed.