'When can I go home?' It’s a common question for most hospital patients, but if you’ve been treated for a brain injury, adjusting to home can require substantial support.
Research by West Park may change how that support is provided. Coming from the mental health field, West Park's Dr. Gary Gerber has seen the positive effect of providing home-based rehabilitation services to people with schizophrenia. Research in that area led to a revolutionary change in care. It got people out of hospitals and back into the community.
Dr. Gerber says the same benefits could be achieved for patients with acquired brain injury (ABI). Not a lot of research is done in this area. Recent advances have been in diagnosis and treatment, not in care after a hospital stay. Once they are discharged, however, Dr. Gerber says, “brain injured patients have to face the rest of their lives. It’s a different challenge.”
Dr. Gerber is very focussed on that end goal – getting people better and back into the community. The right research could test his belief by showing whether you can effectively provide much of the required rehabilitation therapy in the community following a brain injury.
At West Park, Dr. Gerber’s research focuses on that community context. The results are compelling and may change policies and standards of care in Ontario. The potential is huge.