Recovery

The fastest improvements in recovery occur during the first six months. Between six months and two years, there is continued improvement, but recovery may not be as fast. After two years, improvement tends to slow down substantially but still may occur for years. The greatest recovery usually takes place in the first three to six months, but recovery does not stop there

Recovery

The fastest improvements in recovery occur during the first six months. Between six months and two years, there is continued improvement, but recovery may not be as fast. After two years, improvement tends to slow down substantially but still may occur for years. The greatest recovery usually takes place in the first three to six months, but recovery does not stop there

Factors that support
recovery include:

Ability to Learn

All survivors can learn no matter how
severe the injury

Awareness of Self

Recovery is likely to occur when there
is an awareness of strengths and weaknesses

Persistence

Practice and training will help most
people make gains over time

Positive Emotional Functioning and Coping

There may be drastic changes to many
parts of your relationship

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Good sleep, healthy eating, exercise, and
avoid the use of alcohol and drugs

Advocacy

Learn when and how to ask for help

Physical and Emotional Recovery

Physical and emotional recovery are two different things. Physical recovery refers to the body healing and working well; emotional recovery means feeling good about one’s life and self again and can be different for everyone.

Listen to Ivars as he talks about the importance of tapping into hidden supports like his local brain injury association. 

Physical recovery is often faster than emotional recovery, which may take a long time. This can be extended when there are physical problems in addition to emotional ones.

Physical and emotional recovery are not a smooth process, sometimes individuals take one step forward, followed by one step back. You may also see progress move quickly and then stop or slow down. This is normal throughout the recovery process.

Listen to Ivars as he talks about the importance of tapping into hidden supports like his local brain injury association. 

Physical recovery is often faster than emotional recovery, which may take a long time. This can be extended when there are physical problems in addition to emotional ones.

Physical and emotional recovery are not a smooth process, sometimes individuals take one step forward, followed by one step back. You may also see progress move quickly and then stop or slow down. This is normal throughout the recovery process.

How can you
support recovery?

1

Persistence: keep working with the individual to develop strategies

2

Focus on the main goals, pay attention to progress and stick
with the plans that work

3

Observe what is working for other people and what is not

4

Listen to the ideas of other people

5

Give feedback to the individual and ask others for feedback

6

Stop doing things that are not working

Learn from any mistakes

How can you
support recovery?

1. Persistence: keep working with the individual to develop strategies

2

2. Focus on the main goals, pay attention to progress and stick with the plans that work

3. Observe what is working for other people and what is not

4. Listen to the ideas of other people

5. Give feedback to the individual and ask others for feedback

6. Stop doing things that are not working

6. Learn from any mistakes

Rehabilitation

Circle of Care Team

Family Physician

Can work with both the person with an injury and their family and act as a link to other health care providers

Neurologist

A medical doctor specializing in the structure and function of the brain

Neurosurgeon

A medical doctor specializing in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of nervous system disorders (brain, spinal cord, and nerves)

Physiatrist

A medical doctor specializing in physical therapy and rehabilitation

Neuropsychiatrist

A psychiatrist specializing in mental illness resulting from brain disorders, including brain injury

Speech Language Pathologist

Support individuals in relearning communication skills, implementing communication tools, and helping manage swallowing difficulties

Neuropsychologist

A specialized psychologist trained in assessment of cognitive strengths and challenges. These providers will determine the level of functioning following a brain injury and offer treatment strategies to improve cognitive functioning

Registered Psychotherapist

Support individuals, including family members, who are experiencing difficulties with their emotional well-being

Social Worker

Provide family and individuals with a brain injury counselling or offer connection with other service providers

Occupational Therapist

 Help to increase independence by providing aids to compensate for limitations and teaching individuals how to adjust. They can also suggest changes to the environment to help make it more accessible

Physiotherapist

Address the mobility challenges and designs an exercise program concerning flexibility, balance, posture, coordination, and muscle strength/tone

Recreation Therapist

Help to reintegrate individuals with a brain injury into the community by helping them improve their abilities using recreational activities and community resources

Case Manager

An individual who supports the coordination and monitoring of services received by an individual

Personal Support Worker

Supports individuals with activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming, eating, and taking medications as prescribed

Rehabilitation Support Worker

Facilitates rehabilitation programs as outlined by other regulated healthcare professionals

Advocacy

Advocacy involves taking action and speaking on behalf of a loved one to help them access better supports, services, and quality of life.

Systemic advocacy occurs when an agency or association speaks on behalf of their community. For example, OBIA, community associations, and the Brain Injury Speaks Network advocate on behalf of those impacted by brain injury in Ontario. Systemic advocacy is crucial for the overarching system and pushing for changes in policy and legislation.

A patient advocate is a section of health care concerned with the advocacy of patients and caregivers. A patient advocate helps guide an individual through the healthcare system. They focus on patient rights, privacy, informed consent, support and education for patients and family members.

Individual advocacy and self-advocacy occur when an individual speaks on behalf of another person or themselves (i.e. a caregiver voicing the needs of their loved one). These types of advocacy are very important to help those individuals directly experiencing the impacts of a brain injury.

Caregivers often find themselves advocating on behalf of their loved one for:

  • Healthcare (e.g. specialist appointments, referrals, appropriate testing)
  • Income Support (e.g. registering for ODSP, CPP-D, and the Disability Tax Credit)
  • Access to rehabilitation services
  • Appropriate in-home supports and living environment
  • Education
  • Peer support and recreation
  • Legal rights (especially if there is a legal case following the brain injury)
people looking at instructor

There are seven
principles to advocacy:

1

Take responsibility

Set goals and develop plans, be as specific as
possible about what you would like to achieve.
Go to Module 4 for more information

2

Learn

Become knowledgeable about brain injury
and build a network of experts around you

3

Think Critically

Know and understand all information
before responding during discussions

4

Speak with authority

Be confident that you know your loved one best
and request information/meetings yourself

5

Document

Keep records of everything, and ask others
to attend meetings and take notes for you

6

Collaborate

Work together as a team with others around
you including supportive family, friends,
and health care professionals

7

Educate

Learn as much as you can about brain injury
and share your knowledge about your loved
one with others

Brain Injury Speaks - logo

Brain Injury Speaks

The Brain Injury Speaks program is a network of individuals who have been impacted by brain injury in Ontario. This network connects individuals from across Ontario to inform and respond to decisions made by the Government.

If you are interested in participating in this network, please contact:
Gazal Kukreja by email at gkukreja@obia.ca, or by phone at 905-641-8877 ext. 250

Good communication is key to effective advocacy. When communicating it is important to be clear, concise, assertive, ask questions, listen to what others are saying and use visual ways to communicate.

Listen to Deb as she talks about different strategies for advocacy

Good communication is key to effective advocacy. When communicating it is important to be clear, concise, assertive, ask questions, listen to what others are saying and use visual ways to communicate.

Listen to Deb as she talks about different strategies for advocacy