After a brain injury it's essential for patients to learn ways to recover and strategies to cope with their lives. The Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Outpatient Program at St. Joseph's Parkwood Hospital fills this need, but the waiting list for individual therapy is long.
The ABI 101 Steps to Success program was developed to quickly get information to groups of patients on the waiting list who have similar symptoms.
Patients like 56-year-old entrepreneur Rob Staffen. Rob was cycling down a mountain in California last October when his road bike malfunctioned, catapulting him head-first into the rock-strewn desert. The impact to his skull resulted in a traumatic brain injury. Once back in Canada Rob was first treated at Stratford General Hospital, then came to Parkwood Hospital for inpatient rehabilitation and is now participating in the outpatient ABI 101 course.
"The thing about ABI 101 that resonates for me is the points program," says Rob. Occupational therapist Becky Moran (Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Outpatient Program), who developed the points program with red, yellow and green activities, explains that to recover properly from a brain injury it's essential to keep activities within the safe point range at first, then to increase activities as recovery progresses.
The ABI 101 group learns skills to cope with their brain injury including pacing, organizing and exercising. Here they also learn about the psychological changes they may be undergoing, cognitive communication, and physiotherapy and occupational therapy techniques.
Rob has returned to road biking and just finished a 78 K ride feeling comfortable and safe. "I'm not totally recovered, but I can do the things I love-I just have to know my limit, which is perfectly OK."