After recent trips to Washington DC and Iowa, I’m sharpening my eye on the most pressing issues in brain injury today. Based on a few conversations I’ve had with industry professionals (and at the TBI-ROC advisory group), I think we–as a nation–have some pretty serious gaping holes that we can now begin to address.
One of the most under-acknowledged demographics in brain injury care involve people who have persistent medical complications following their injury AND who suffer resulting behavioral problems. Very few facilities in the country can manage a tough behavior and a medically intensive program at the same time. There’s certainly room for a new specialty here.
Another gaping hole in service involves adults who experience brain injury later in life and meet with a slew of aging-related problems. In most cases, the person is shrugged off as “unrehabable” but perhaps our definitions and goals need to be re-evaluated for such a patient.
In the upcoming weeks, Dr. Gainer will be presenting a talk in Iowa the centers on issues throughout a person’s lifespan–and the talk should encourage discussion on the above topics. Look for that presentation to be available soon online.