Maximising an individual’s quality of life following a serious injury or neurological condition.
Neurorehabilitation, or neurological rehabilitation, refers to the medical and therapeutic process of improving an individual’s overall skills, functions and wellbeing following a serious injury or neurological condition. Following a brain or spinal injury, a neurological event such as a stroke, infection or brain tumour or as a degenerative condition like multiple sclerosis, an individual can experience enormous changes to their life – from their physical and cognitive functioning to their emotional and mental health. This life-changing experience has significant impact both on the individual, and on their family and social circle. Every area of a person’s life can be affected, and recovery can be a long and difficult journey.
Towards a ‘new normal’ with expert, multidisciplinary support
The aim of neurological rehabilitation is to enable people to live as normal a life as possible, by increasing their independence and skills. Support to adapt to ‘a new normal’ and progress along a journey towards independence is a core aim of neurological rehabilitation. Neurorehabilitation is about giving people support to adapt to their new body and mind, as well as improving their physical, cognitive and mental function with therapy and specialist care. Neurorehabilitation is a multi-disciplinary team approach. Often overseen by a specialist neurological rehabilitation consultant, the team is made up of experts specialising in the following areas:
- Neuropsychiatry and neuropsychology to help patients to cope with the trauma of injury and life post-injury
- Neuro physiotherapy to reduce the impact of physical disabilities resulting from the injury or illness
- Neurobehavioural rehabilitation to relearn social skills or appropriate behaviour
- Occupational therapy to restore lost skills and abilities and to develop adaptations to daily tasks required to return to work or hobbies
- Cognitive treatments to allow the brain to adapt and recover
- Speech and language therapy, to support people with communication and swallowing difficulties.
A personal approach
Neurorehabilitation is personal. The programme of support and intervention will depend not only on someone’s symptoms and functional ability, but also on their social, emotional and personal goals. For some people, it might mean relearning the skills of walking. learning to swallow or to speak. For others, it may mean relearning how to purchase ingredients and make a meal or behave appropriately in the workplace following a change to their cognitive abilities.