Understanding how you or your family can best address your health and well-being, post-hospital discharge can be a long, complex journey. Through our conversations with clients with varying levels of severity of ABI and TBI, we know that improving your quality of life is the primary goal. Unfortunately, this focus and outcome is often lost in the current rehabilitation services provided.
Finding evidence-based, client-focused care:
Currently, there is limited access to leading-practice, brain-injury care, and limited publicly available knowledge of these leading practices for you to make an informed decision.
Challenges in self-managing integrated care:
Given the complex needs and challenges you and your family have, while you may be advised to follow and plan an integrated care plan, it is difficult to implement this at home without the adequate support, effective care tracking and expertise to manage at home.
Ensuring a focus on quality of life:
Stabilizing and improving the quality of life is at the top of mind for you and your family, but after addressing the symptoms of brain injury and receiving siloed care interventions, it is hard to understand how to focus and achieve a tangible improvement in quality of life.
ABI Wellness licenses a unique and interdisciplinary four-pillar program that focuses on changing the brain to improve higher order cognitive and related behavioural functions during the post-acute phase of recovery. These four pillars – higher order cognitive rehabilitation, aerobic exercise, mindfulness and quality of life tracking – are recommended for individuals, age eight to end of life, experiencing acquired brain injuries as it emphasizes cognitive, physical and emotional healing.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia’s Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health have studied the impact of our program, using patients that live with traumatic brain injuries. The preliminary results revealed that the brain has an incredible capacity to change, adapt and grow through interdisciplinary programs that offer intervention and stimulation of existing cognitive functions.
THE FOUR PILLARS OF ABI WELLNESS
Using the world-renowned BrainExTM program that focuses on higher order cognitive rehabilitation, ABI Wellness targets four areas of the brain that are responsible for executive functioning. Four exercises – Symbol Relations, Symbol Thinking, Nonverbal Thinking and Predicative Speech – help to restore a patient’s ability to organize, plan and set goals, in addition to building cognitive capacities in verbal memory, verbal retrieval, reasoning and enhancing overall self-awareness.
Research has proven that exercise and physical activity can regulate mood and anxiety in patients with brain injuries, so aerobic exercise plays a vital role in enhancing cognitive improvement. Aerobic exercise, as an integral part of ABI Wellness’s program, prepares the brain for more effective higher order cognitive rehabilitation, and studies have shown that aerobic exercise alone has been found to improve mood and executive functioning for patients with brain injuries.
Did you know that fatigue is often one of the longest-lasting symptoms of brain injury? Fatigue can impact an individual’s ability to function in daily life, but mindfulness has proven to reduce depressive symptoms, overall stress and fatigue in patients with traumatic brain injury. In addition to depressive symptoms, mindfulness can also decrease pain intensity and increase energy levels. Fully understanding all the benefits of mindfulness, ABI Wellness’s program includes 10-15 minutes of guided meditation each day.
INTERDISCIPLINARY HEALTH TRACKING
Utilizing automated tools to deliver up-to-the-minute patient activity and satisfactory tracking, ABI Wellness’s focus is on interdisciplinary health through quality of life tracking, which allows facilitators to monitor changes in patients’ daily lives throughout treatment. This pillar includes bi-weekly, one-on-one clinical counselling sessions for each patient.
Why ABI Wellness? Benefits to Patients/Family
Research-focused, integrated program serving major brain injury treatment areas:
ABI works closely with researchers at the UBC Faculty of Medicine to derive and practice its innovative care program that covers the key areas proven to improve brain function: cognitive training for executive functions, physical conditioning and mindfulness.
Interdisciplinary care on-site, with access to specialized cognitive rehabilitation:
ABI has a proven model of working with individuals with chronic cases of ABI and TBI across the mild to moderate severity spectrum to provide a tailored, interdisciplinary program that adjusts to your specific needs and where you are in your journey. We have embedded the BrainEx program with a specific focus on improving higher order cognition.
Tracking quality of life, live and within a community setting:
Through our experience, quality of life has been the priority for our clients and families, and the program is tailored to addressing these needs, and tracking the outcomes, live. This benefit is furthered through the design and setting of the care provided, where you can work on your goals collaboratively with trained facilitators who will help you on every step of your brain injury recovery journey.
ABI Wellness delivers evidence-based interventions through a state-of-the-art tablet platform. The software is easy to use and all cognitive exercises are completed in combination with professional support. We offer half-day, part-time, symbol relations cognitive enhancement programs, as well as program facilitator training, certification, counselling and speaking engagements.
This program is a comprehensive approach to addressing cognitive deficits through cognitive training, aerobic exercise, mindfulness practice and interdisciplinary health tracking.
Based on each client’s learning profile, an individualized program of targeted exercises is designed to address four cognitive areas involved in reasoning, memory, executive functioning, attention and planning.
Half-Day clients must spend a minimum of four 40-minute periods per day on cognitive exercises at the program site, with a minimum aggregate of three hours and 20 minutes per cognitive exercise each week (comprising of one 40-minute period per day for five days a week).
Half-day clients undergo updated assessments after six months for the cognitive areas addressed in that period.
The half-day program is the most comprehensive way to address cognitive deficits following a brain injury. But some individuals can’t make that commitment.
Clients in the part-time program address two cognitive areas. Each client must spend a minimum of two 40-minute periods per day on cognitive exercises at the program site, with a minimum aggregate of three hours and 20 minutes per cognitive exercise each week (comprising of two 40-minute periods per day for five days a week).
It is recommended that clients participate in a 30-minute period of aerobic exercise the day before cognitive training.
Symbol Relations Cognitive Enhancement Program
This program provides cognitive enhancement to participants in the symbol relations cognitive function and specifically benefits individuals with acquired brain injury.
The symbol relations cognitive function is involved in processing concepts – including understanding what we read and hear, logical reasoning, seeing connections between ideas, cause and effect processing and mathematical reasoning.
Clients in the symbol relations cognitive enhancement program must spend a minimum of four to six hours per week on the cognitive exercise at the program site.