UHN Study Finds Long-term Care Facilities May Not Be Best for Adults with Traumatic Brain Injury
Last week, the University Health Network (UHN) announced the results of a new, large-scale Canadian study that reveals that many adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI) live in a long-term health setting – such as a nursing home – which may not be appropriate for their condition and younger age.
The study, led by Dr. Angela Colantonio, Senior Scientist, Toronto Rehab, University Health Network, was published in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. It looked at more than 10,000 adults with TBI in four non-acute settings: home care, mental health, nursing homes and complex continuing care facilities.
“There were two striking findings in this work: First, persons with traumatic brain injury were significantly younger than other residents in nursing home settings; and, they were also more likely to be male, whereas most of the other residents were female,” said Dr. Colantonio.
Dr. Colantonio also notes that this is a result of a lack of appropriate housing or health-care setting alternatives for this population. For many individuals living with TBI, it is imperative they are in a setting with TBI rehabilitation to help them thrive.
“Providing housing for people living with visible and invisible disabilities associated with brain injury is critical in reducing the homeless population and the number of people incarcerated,” said Harry Zarins, Executive Director, Brain Injury Association of Canada. “Importantly, having housing available will also reduce the time Canadians suffering with brain injury are spending in hospitals. Hand in hand with housing is the availability and implementation of a visionary rehabilitation program.”