One of the many challenges faced by survivors of brain injury is the fact that no two patterns of recovery are the same. While one survivor may make tremendous gains after their injury, another survivor whose injury is similar may make significantly fewer gains. Researchers across the world are trying to understand the underlying reasons why some survivors flourish, while others do not. There are some well-understood factors including the type and severity of brain injury, the survivor’s age at the time of injury, as well as the survivor’s pre-injury health.
Obviously, survivors have little control over many of the “biological” factors listed above. However, there are a number of habits and characteristics that enable survivors to make the most of their recovery. Based on what I’ve learned from the hundreds of survivors and families I’ve been privileged to work with over the last 17 years, here are the first 5 habits that help “highly effective” survivors make the most of their recoveries. Habits 6 through 10 will be covered in the next newsletter.
2. Highly effective survivors stay in contact with their medical team. Regular communication with medical professionals like physiatrists (rehab doctors), neurologists, and family practice physicians is a must after brain injury. These professionals are able to identify needs, answer ongoing questions, and make referrals for the needed services and supports (i.e. physical, occupational, and speech therapy) as survivors change over time.
Well…that’s it for this month’s Cognitive Corner. Next issue, I’ll delve into habits 6 through 10, which are:
Hope your new year is off to a great start! Talk to you soon!