Team sports all have people in specific positions that are best qualified for that position. It’s what creates a team that is successful, so why not look at rehabilitation and healing in the same way?
Building a good team doesn’t necessarily mean just a bunch of specialists, but it can include the right combination of close friends and family as well as specialists and professionals brought together to bring maximum success when striving for the achievement of goals.
Unfortunate events such as motorcycle accidents, falls, or violence can bring severe injuries, causing transient or permanent neurological dysfunction, family disruptions, financial difficulties, or complete lifestyle change. Usually prevalent during the prime lives of the survivors where they are completing their education, developing their careers, and establishing their families, having to put life on hold because of these severe injuries can add to their struggles.
It is crucial to start the rehabilitation process as soon as possible and continue for as long as necessary instead of delaying any part of it. Rehabilitation is a process that the survivors must do and with the help of their family and an interdisciplinary team of health professionals. The goal of rehabilitation is to help the survivors acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes that help them recover as efficiently as possible and also aims to achieve the maximum degree of return to their previous physical, psychological, and social level of functioning.
Consequences of severe injuries requiring rehabilitation of some kind:
- Neurological problems
- Medical complications
- Motor function impairment
- Sleep disturbance
- Sensory loss
- Sexual dysfunction
Cognitive and intellectual problems
- Memory impairment
- Difficulty with new learning
- Attention and concentration difficulties
- Impaired problem-solving skills
- Problems in planning, organizing, and making decisions
- Language problems
Emotional or behavioural problems
- Impaired social and coping skills
- Reduced self-esteem
- Problems in emotional control
- Poor frustration tolerance
- Anger management issues
- Reduced insight, disinhibition, impulsivity
- Psychiatric disorders – anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis
Common lifestyle consequences
- Loss of independence
- Loss of pre-injury roles
- Difficulties in maintaining interpersonal relationships, marital breakdown
- Unemployment and financial hardship
- Inadequate academic achievement
- Lack of transportation alternative
- Inadequate recreational opportunities
With these consequences, the help of a team of professionals is essential to providing the necessary interventions needed in the rehabilitation process. Able Digital Wellness is designed to be part of that process, not just to rehabilitate, but support ongoing wellness to sustain the best level of function and health for everyone involved.
Perhaps most importantly, the determination of the survivors and the support and help of their families and community can increase the recovery process. Often good emotional and physical support will improve this determination, which is why it’s so important that good support is available and actively pursued. Supports and interventions may include monitoring progress, reskilling and retraining in activities of daily living, different cognitive and behavioural therapies, family education and counselling, pain and pharmacological management, and assistive technology education. But for the most part, although you already know much of this – it’s important we’re reminded of the importance of it as a collective whole to maintain our focus on offering the best, whole-person support we can.
Each survivor has a different case of injuries, abilities, and psychosocial situations; thus, creating a holistic and most certainly, individualised treatment plan, is important. One way of doing that is through goal setting, with the cooperation and participation of the survivors, their families, and the healthcare team.
That would be the ideal scenario. However, lack of access to these rehabilitation opportunities due to limited funds and facilities or shortage of professionals can leave the survivors and their families with sub-optimal results, causing physical, psychological, social, and financial consequences.
Despite these limitations, it is important to maximise the available opportunities and resources that can help in the recovery process to return to their previous functioning and live a quality life. Hence, it is essential to work together to reach the team goals and recover as one.
As a care giver, do some research about how best to set goals and create a plan with the person you care for (or yourself) for how to achieve them. The NDIS exists for this purpose – helping people with disability achieve their goals – so let’s celebrate the fact that our country gives access to a scheme that can really help. Oh, and of course, the providers like Able Digital Wellness doing good things to help people find the path to achieving them.