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Brain Injury and Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation

What is inpatient rehabilitation?

Inpatient rehabilitation is designed to help you improve function after a moderate or severe brain injury and is usually provided by a team of people including physicians, nurses, and other specialized therapists. 

Can I receive inpatient rehabilitation?

You are eligible to receive inpatient rehabilitation if:

  • You have a new brain injury that prevents you from returning home to family care.

  • Your medical condition is stable enough to allow participation in therapies.  For people on Medicare, this means being able to participate in at least 3 hours of therapy per day. 

  • You are able to make progress in therapies.

  • You have a social support system that will allow you to return to home or another community care setting after reasonable improvement of function.

  • You have insurance or other ways to cover the cost of treatment. 


How does inpatient rehabilitation work?

Your therapies will be designed to address your specific needs.  You will receive at least 3 hours of different types of therapy throughout the day with breaks in between, 5-7 days a week.


You will be under the care of a physician who will see you at least 3 times per week.


Most brain injury rehabilitation inpatients participate in:

  • Physical therapy -  to improve physical function and mobility

  • Occupational therapy - to provide training in daily activities to help you become more independent

  • Speech therapy  - to help you with communication problems and swallowing problems 

How can your family members offer support during inpatient rehabilitation?

Family members can:

  • Get to know the team members caring for you.

  • Ask when and how they can participate in therapy sessions.

  • Ask about improvement that they can expect to see during rehabilitation.

  • Ask questions about the rehabilitation therapies.

  • Ask about and discuss the discharge process, since the time in inpatient rehabilitation can be short.

Source: This information is from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center TBI FactSheet.  The FactSheet was developed by Brian D. Greenwald, MD, in collaboration with the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center.  The health information content is based on research evidence whenever available and represents the consensus of expert opinion of the TBI Model System directors. 

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to replace advice from a medical professional.  You should consult your health care provided regarding specific medical concerns or treatment. 

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