Brain Injury FAQ

How long will it take to recover from a brain injury?

Each injury is different. The timetable for recovery depends on the extent of the brain injury. Other medical complications are also part of determining the length of the recovery process. Most of the recovery that's going to take place happens in about a year. The brain continues to heal after that, but more slowly.

How long will I be on the rehab unit?

Our entire unit's average length of stay is approximately two weeks. Each patient's stay is individualized to their needs to ensure a safe discharge home. This time frame may seem short; however these time lines are in-line with national averages. We have also found that in many ways, going home as soon as possible, while continuing therapy either at home or as an outpatient has many physical and psychological benefits. Our system of care encompasses all of these treatment areas and will continue to be a resource for as long as you need our services.

Will my loved one be the same as before the injury?

After a brain injury, the brain will not be exactly the same as it was prior to injury. The person who survives a brain injury can often return to a life that is much the same as before the injury. However, this depends on how much damage to the brain occurred and where it occurred. Typically, younger adults show greater recovery than older adults do. For moderate and severe injuries, usually by six months after the injury, doctors will be able to provide more information about long-term issues, such as returning to work.

Why is my loved one acting like this?

The patient may be more irritable, self-centered, impulsive and may engage in angry, dangerous or violent behaviors. Such behaviors are common with individuals who have sustained brain injuries. They occur during the stages of recovery from brain injury and are not a reflection of the person's personality. Instead, the extent and location of the injury are the strongest factors in causing negative behaviors. Most extreme negative behaviors disappear with time.

When will my loved one's memory return?

During the initial stages of recovery, the person with the brain injury is not able to learn new information or form new memories. This is called post-traumatic confusion. When the person begins to remember information or events from one day to the next, the period of post-traumatic confusion is ending. The sooner this day-to-day memory returns, the better the recovery of the individual. The location of the injury in the brain also determines the extent and nature of the memory impairment.

How will my loved one cope with the brain injury?

During the early stages of recovery, the person with a brain injury isn't aware of the nature of the injury or its consequences. As improvement occurs, increased understanding of the impact of the injury grows. Frequent emotional reactions are sadness, difficulties with adjustment, or clinical depression. These emotional reactions signal significant recovery has taken place. A psychologist assesses every patient admitted to the rehabilitation center and can help the patient and his or her family adjust to behavior and personality changes.

For more information, call (217) 788-3302 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., or email us.