Acute Rehab for Brain Injury Is the First Step in a Long Journey

Most stays in an acute rehab facitily are too short for people with brain injury. Familes need to make each day count and look ahead to next steps.

My name is Marilyn Spivack, and I work at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. What I usually do with the family as soon as they come in is to help the family learn how to be a member of the team. The length of stay in an acute rehabilitation hospital is much too short. If they're lucky to get into an acute rehabilitation hospital with a good brain injury program, every day is a day of extraordinary value. They cannot waste their time. They need to learn, they need to participate, they need to take advantage of every resource that the facility could provide. It's their time to do their search for the next steps. I advise families that we need to begin to think about discharge about a week after their admission because rehabilitation and recovery do not end when you walk out of the doors of any rehabilitation hospital in America. It's the beginning. It's the beginning of a very, very difficult journey.
Posted on BrainLine August 28, 2012.

Produced by Krystal Klingenberg, Justin Rhodes, and Jared Schaubert, BrainLine.

About the author: Marilyn Spivack

Marilyn Price Spivack is the neurotrauma outreach coordinator at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. She is the co-founder and past president of the National Head Injury Foundation, now known as the Brain Injury Association of America. Her daughter sustained a severe TBI in 1975.

Dr. Marilyn Spivack