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Long-term care brain injury rehabilitation facility for vets with brain injuries approved

A five-year pilot project to treat up to 25 wounded warriors and veterans with severe to moderate traumatic brain injury has been approved by the Federal government.  The center is to be located in Johnstown, PA  in the former Crichton Rehabilitation Center at the Hiram G. Andrews Center.

The center is designed to provide long term care to brain injured veterans. The center will provide high-tech neurorehabilitation services and the latest medications, as well as nontraditional methods such as horseback riding, tai chi and music therapy.  Wounded veterans will come to Johnstown for extended care for up to a year after they have been discharged from an acute care unit.

Patients’ families will have the opportunity to stay in Johnstown or participate by teleconference and help with the rehabilitation. In addition, there will be respite opportunities for family caregivers exhausted from dealing with a severely injured veteran.

Long term care in facilities with staff properly trained and equipped to provide brain injury rehabilitation services are greatly needed.  Those suffering from the effects of traumatic brain injury should not be forced to go into nursing homes where often little or no appropriate care is being provided.   Hopefully further centers will be approved throughout the country.

However, those considering and providing funding for future care options to those persons suffering from traumatic brain injury should understand that the final answer is not indefinite long term in patient care, but providing sufficient resources so that these individuals can return home and receive proper care and rehabilitation services within their own community. Unfortunately, all to often we have seen that individuals suffering with brain damage injuries are forced to spend their days in facilities because better home-based alternatives simply do not exist.   



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