HealthSouth Nittany Valley Restores Hope for Brain Injury Survivors
Throughout the month of March, HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehabilitation Hospital observes Brain Injury Awareness Month to highlight the importance of rehabilitation in a patient’s recovery after a brain injury. HealthSouth Nittany Valley provides the technology, services and therapy to help patients reach their goals and highest levels of function through a customized, comprehensive rehabilitation program.
Brain injury rehabilitation plans are designed to meet the needs of the patient. In order to restore the most function, brain injury survivors are encouraged to begin therapy as soon as possible after the injury. At HealthSouth Nittany Valley, they receive therapy a minimum of three hours each day of physical, occupational and/or speech-language therapy to help them get the best benefits out of their time in the inpatient hospital.
- Physical therapy benefits the restoration of larger movements such as walking, arm motion and transfers by increasing the patient’s strength, coordination and endurance. Repetition is an important key to regaining function in physical therapy activities as well.
- Occupational therapy helps the patient learn how to perform activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing and cooking by strengthening function that has the ability to be restored or teaching adaptive methods when that function cannot be restored.
- Speech-language therapy addresses cognitive and comprehensive dysfunction when brain injury patients have difficulty speaking, or with sentence structure or word comprehension. Speech therapists also can aid with dysphagia, or swallowing difficulty, when it is affected by the injury.
- Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurses (CRRN®) are registered nurses on staff at the hospital that specialize in restoring abilities often taken for granted such as motor skills, walking and personal care.
“Helping patients restore lost function after a brain injury is something my team is passionate about,” said Tracy Everhart, director of therapy operations at HealthSouth Nittany Valley. “Getting them back to their optimal level of function is about more than getting back to the community. It’s about restoring hope in living life independently.”
According to the Brain Injury Association of America, an estimated 1.7 million children and adults in the U.S. sustain a traumatic brain injury each year. For more information on brain injury rehabilitation or prevention, visit www.healthsouth.com or the Brain Injury Association of America online at www.biausa.org.