Acquired Brain Injury
We offer a range of specialist community based interventions for individuals with acquired brain injury. Our multidisciplinary team deliver high-quality rehabilitation and support for people with a range of needs.
What is acquired brain injury?
An acquired brain injury is any damage to the brain that occurs after birth. The damage can be caused by stroke, infection, tumour, trauma/accidents or poisoning (alcohol/drug misuse), hypoxia/anoxia (deprivation of oxygen to the brain) or degenerative neurological disease.
Approximately 700,000 Australians are living with an acquired brain injury, with 3 out of 4 of these being under the age of 65 (Brain Injury Australia, 2016). An acquired brain injury can impact many areas of life including your physical recovery, cognition, mobility, upper limbs, fatigue and independence.
What we offer
- High quality rehabilitation and support for people with a range of needs
- Assistance for people to live safely and independently in their community
- A person-centred approach with meaningful results
- Direct therapy for clients and their families
- One-on-one consultations with advice on accessing funding sources
We also provide comprehensive support and rehabilitation in areas including:
- Education around living with an acquired brain injury
- Managing behavioural effects
- Coping with cognitive effects; memory, information processing, impaired reasoning and insight
- Executive behaviours; planning and organising, problem solving, and concentration
- Speech and Language: concerns with expressive and or receptive language and social communication skills
- Physical effects; upper limb function, mobility, balance, sensory impairment and fatigue
- Independence with daily living and household tasks
- Community access
- Vision-related issues; visual field loss, visual processing difficulties, double or blurry vision, difficulty with reading, and impaired visual memory (poor recognition of faces, objects).
Meet our team
Our multidisciplinary team approach includes a tailored plan that may include clinical psychologists, orthoptists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, physiotherapists, and orientation and mobility specialists.
Our clinical psychologist provides:
- Assessment and treatment of behavioural, emotional and cognitive (thinking) problems following a brain injury
- They can advise on how to build upon the person’s existing skills and abilities and how to reduce some of their difficulties.
Our orthoptist will provide a clinical vision assessment to:
- Assess visual acuities, eye health, visual fields, colour vision, contrast sensitivity, ocular movements and depth perception
- Check your prescription
- Demonstrate reading aids (for example, magnifiers).
Our occupational therapists are key rehabilitation professionals in assisting people to:
- Reintegrate back into the community following a brain injury
- Regain their maximum level of independence in daily living tasks (such as self-care) and instrumental activities (such as home management, rest and sleep habits, work demands, play, and leisure and social participation)
- Relearn those skills that underlie these activities such as motor skills and cognitive skills
- Advise on new ways of accomplishing continued difficulties, and on any adaptations that may need to be made in your home and community environment
- Provide comprehensive visual rehabilitation programs
- Recommend any aids or assistive technology that will enhance independence and support engagement in daily living activity.
Our speech pathologist helps people to
- Improve their communication skills
- Express and understand the written and spoken language
- Improve speech clarity
- Work with family members and/or care givers to help the person to communicate as best they can
- Identify any communication aids that may be useful.
Our physiotherapist helps people to:
- Regain or maintain the use of their joints and muscles
- Improve balance and movement difficulties
- Will suggest exercises to help the person improve or maintain their physical abilities, to enable them to become as independently mobile as possible
- Provides hydrotherapy
Orientation and Mobility Specialists
Our O&M specialists work with individuals to:
- Improve their independence with community access skills that have been impacted by their brain injury through cognitive decline or visual impairment.
- Complete functional vision assessments (static and dynamic scanning and visual perceptual skills)
- Work on building the underlying cognitive skills (e.g. planning, sequencing, memory and social interaction) and visual skills (identifying landmarks, scanning and eccentric viewing) required to safely and independently access the community
- Identify any aids that may be useful.
Our dietitians work with you to improve your health and can:
- Provide education on a healthy diet
- Identify your dietary focus/needs
- Assess and monitor nutritional intake
- Make personalised recommendations on eating and drinking
- Work with other allied health team members (e.g.) Speech Pathologists) on food transitions (such as tube feeding to oral feeding)
- Develop personalised eating plans that consider medical conditions and personal circumstances
- Provide information on healthy eating, shopping for food, eating out and preparing food at home.
Rehabilitation support workers
Our rehabilitation support workers support individuals to implement therapy programs set by the therapists. They will guide individuals through their program and feedback any changes to the therapist.
Family members are key members of our team as they play an integral role in the rehabilitation process. This impacts a person’s recovery outcomes.
We aim to develop a good working relationship between families and rehabilitation teams. Research suggests that those who make the best recovery are individuals whose family is actively involved, maintaining the skills learned in rehabilitation once the patient has gone home.
Our service cycle
- Referral & Consultation – check eligibility and support to access funding. Provide initial assessment to ascertain support needs and recommendations
- Assessment – Assessments completed by relevant therapists
- Goal setting and planning – setting goals and planning hours
- Therapy – delivery of direct therapy, education, acquisition of aids/equipment
- Review – review of goals. Set new goals or discharge
- Discharge – provide report to outline outcomes, recommendations and referrals
Through this program, you’ll work alongside our dedicated team to attain the goals that are meaningful to you, and maximise your independence and quality of life.
To participate in our therapy program you must meet the following criteria:
- Have an acquired or traumatic brain injury
- 18 – 65 years of age (for over 65s – service level is dependent on available funding)
- Meet residency requirements
- Be medically stable
- Consent to participate in therapy services
- Have active rehabilitation goals or support needs
Referrals are welcomed from individuals, family members, service providers and health professionals (allied health, GPs and neurologists).
To complete a referral, please download the Acquired Brain Injury Vision Services Referral Form [pdf, 572kb] and take it to an allied health professional, GP or neurologist.
Please provide any recent and relevant assessment reports to support your referral. For people with a vision-related acquired brain injury – if you are being seen by Optometry or Ophthalmology please attach any recent or relevant reports or ask them to complete our Low Vision Medical Certificate (Adult) [pdf, 363kb].
For further information on referrals or the Brain Injury Community Rehabilitation Service please contact us.