Inappropriate Placement of TBI Patients Into Elder Care Facilities

elderly man in wheelchair with head injury

One challenge in more severe brain injury cases is residential placement. Residential facilities that are designed to care for the elderly are not suitable for the needs of traumatic brain injury survivors. And yet, for lack of any better placement, there are large numbers of young, brain-injured people who live in elder care facilities.

TBI patients need programs that help promote independence-such as more advanced rehabilitation, daily recreation that challenges cognition, and support for return to community. A recent study found that young TBI patients who were moved from a residential elder care facility into a community-based setting showed an increase in independence. This increased independence was evident in daily living activities, social inclusion, and overall well-being.

The promotion of independence is not a goal of elder care facilities, and yet it is a critical part of care for TBI patients, especially those who are younger and may have many years of a potentially fulfilling life.

Winkler D, Farnworth L, Sloan S, & Brown T. Moving from aged care facilities to community-based accommodation: Outcomes and environmental factors. Brain Injury. (February 2011).