Toronto ABI Network

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In a Rehab Hospital

The goal of rehabilitation is to improve someone’s quality of life. This includes improving their ability to: move, communicate, do their own personal care, and return to family life and community activities.

In Toronto, if a person requires specialized ABI rehabilitation they may be referred to one of the following rehabilitation hospitals: Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, (for upto age 19); Bridgepoint Sinai Health System; Toronto Rehab-UHN; or West Park Healthcare Centre.

These hospitals have doctors, nurses and therapists who are familiar with brain injury. They know how to work with someone who may have cognitive, physical or behavioural challenges as a result of their injury.

Two hospitals, Toronto Rehab-UHN and Bridgepoint Sinai Health System, also have a Slow-to-Recover Program. This program is for people who are recovering slowly from a severe brain injury. Often these individuals have complex medical needs.

Which hospital or program someone goes to depends on the person’s needs and the discharge policies of the hospital he/she is in. In the Greater Toronto Area, the Toronto ABI Network coordinates all referrals for adult ABI rehabilitation so that the process is smooth and efficient.

Frequently Asked Questions In A Rehab Hospital

What does rehabilitation involve?

After admission, staff will assess the person's abilities and areas affected by the ABI to determine the type of therapy/intervention required.

A typical day may include therapy sessions, support groups, education groups and therapeutic recreation. Depending on the level of fatigue, there may be rest periods scheduled into the day.

The team will use a variety of therapies and approaches to help individuals reach their rehabilitation goals:

  • Direct therapy:  one-to-one, group sessions or working with a therapy assistant.
  • Indirect therapy: carrying out therapy goals in daily activities and routines.
  • Family education and home programming: providing strategies and activities that can be carried out at home.
  • Consultation: working with caregivers, school and other community supports.
  • Providing tools to support communication: e.g., a book of pictures used to express needs, or a journal to record their day.
  • Assistance: in setting up supports in your community.

Source: Toronto Rehab Brain Injury Service Patient Handbook and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Neurorehabilitation Program Family Guide

How long will my family member have to stay in hospital?

The length of stay is different for each person. It depends on how quickly s/he meets the rehabilitation goals. It is important to remember that the rehabilitation that takes place in hospital is just one stage of a long-term recovery process.

What is a typical week like in rehabilitation?

Individuals see each of their therapists four or five times per week. Therapy may be one-on-one or take place in a group. Sessions vary from 15 minutes to one hour depending on how well the person tolerates the therapy. Most therapies take place on weekdays.

How can families help with rehabilitation?

Families can visit often during the day/early evening. The Supporting your Family Member section of this website offers many ideas of things you can do to help.

What if my family member develops medical complications?

Patients who develop medical complications during rehabilitation will go back to the community or acute care hospital. If they need urgent medical treatment, the rehabilitation staff will send them to the nearest emergency department.