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Brain injury rehab program provides long-term care for victims

Across the nation, researchers are constantly trying to determine how the brain functions and heals. These studies can help the recovery process for brain injury victims, a process that can be painful and long-term.

There are many ways that a brain injury can occur. For workers, a serious fall, an unexpected slip on the floor, or even falling debris can cause a head injury. Head injuries, when serious, can cause damage to the brain and have a profound negative effect on the worker's life. Now a pilot program is looking at the effectiveness of long-term care outside of a hospital setting.

In some workplaces such as a construction site, the risk of falling onto cement is a real possibility for employees. The impact upon hitting the ground can cause injuries ranging from a mild concussion to internal bleeding of the brain. One woman recalls when her husband suffered a traumatic brain injury after landing on cement.

Her husband, as a retired military man, had been chosen to undergo rehabilitation as part of a new pilot program to help brain injury victims.

In some brain injury cases, patients remain under the care of the hospital or are placed in an institution. Brain injuries can cause a lot of mental, physical, and emotional complications that need daily attention. Remaining under the supervision of medical professionals in a hospital setting is one way to ensure that patients are receiving the rehabilitation they need.

But this new pilot program puts brain injury victims into long-term residential care facilities. These facilities are designed to address many of the issues that brain injury victims experience months and even years after the initial injury. The facilities also allow patients to remain close to their families - there are a number of facilities in different locations across the country.

While many hospitals may not provide long-term brain injury rehabilitation, the process of recovery can take years. These programs that emphasize long-term care may help victims get back to their original state before the accident.

But like any treatment program, long-term care can be very costly. Workers who suffer a brain injury on-the-job and need care should seek workers' compensation benefits. These benefits can help fray the costs after the accident.

Source: MLive: "Greater Lansing facility treats first veteran as part of national pilot program," Angela Wittrock, Sept. 12, 2011

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