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My son is almost 4 years out from TBI...what can we do to help him? Can he still be eligible for inpatient rehab?

He wants to walk but has balance issues that prevent him from walking. He also can't use his right arm or hand. Seems like nothing has worked so far.

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Physical Therapist

Answer transcribed from Brightway's interview with physical therapist Susan Little:

I would say yes, in inpatient rehab we often see survivors of brain injury certainly early on after their injury but also later on in their recovery sometimes. It's because they've had a bit of a boost in their recovery, for whatever reason, sometimes our brain decides to heal slower than we would like it to. In which case, very intense therapy in inpatient rehab may be appropriate. On the other side of the coin, where we'll often see individuals who have a decline in status for whatever reason, inpatient rehabilitation is again approved to get them back on track with their recovery.


I really would suggest contacting the admissions department of the closest brain injury rehab facility and requesting an evaluation by their admissions department. Most rehabilitation facilities will have what they refer to as a clinical evaluator to come out to see you and your son. They’d see whether they feel that it is appropriate for an inpatient admission or to guide you otherwise if they feel that it is not an appropriate time for inpatient admission. We all know the biggest hurdle is often insurance, and the clinical evaluator can also guide you in regard to navigating those insurance hurdles as well. If not inpatient appropriate, perhaps that clinical evaluator can connect you with brain injury outpatient services to continue at that level of care.


Clinical evaluators are the individuals who would see clients or survivors right after their injury and recommend inpatient rehabilitation. Again, we'll also see individuals in their homes in skilled nursing facilities or long-term care facilities. Sometimes that process is set in motion by the therapist, but often that process is set in motion by the family. So if you feel that your son has the needs, contact that clinical evaluator.