After the patient has been released from the hospital, the next steps will depend on the severity of the injury and the patient's ability to care for him or her self. A skilled nursing or long-term care facility may offer necessary support functions (such as ventilation or feeding tubes) while the body continues to heal. Skilled nursing, long-term care, and acute inpatient rehabilitation facilities can each offer different levels of support as needed.

Research shows that early, intensive rehabilitation following brain injury improves overall outcomes. This might include physical, cognitive, speech, occupational, mental health and other therapies focused on regaining function. The goal is always to return as close as possible to the level of function and quality of life as was enjoyed prior to injury.

Do not feel discouraged if recovery seems slow or your loved one does not seem to be making progress. Healing looks different for everyone.

Benefits of rehab may include: 

  • Increased return to function and quality of life
  • Increased independence
  • Relationships with therapists and other providers

Challenges of rehab may include:

  • Transportation and time commitment of appointments
  • Financial burden
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of discouragement if healing trajectory seems slow or even backward
Just because you don't see progress early on, don't be discouraged. The brain's plasticity is truly a marvel. We observe incredible improvements as a result of therapies, and new therapies are always being developed to help rewire the brain to improve functionality.
Dr. CJ Plummer
Assistant Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

The Brain Injury Association of Tennessee (BIAT) is an awareness and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of TBI survivors and their caregivers.

BIAT does not provide medical diagnoses, treatments, or advice. All medical treatments should be discussed with your provider.