The Australian state of New South Wales’ Brain Injury Rehabilitation Network has put out a very comprehensive fact sheet which I think you will find informative. You can read the whole 4 page circular here, much of it applies specifically to case management in Australia. Here are some excerpts from the relevant parts as I think they summarize brain injury recovery very well.
Brain injury from trauma is a serious medical event that often involves rescue and emergency transport, followed by immediate admission to hospital for lifesaving intensive carewith medical and surgical treatments.
One minute life is normal, but the next, it has completely changed. Not knowing what the future holds can be a very stressful time for you and your family. The doctors, nurses and therapists will talk with you and your family/carer about what is happening and why. It is important that you understand and ask questions.
Traumatic (acquired) brain injury
A brain injury affects each person in a different and the length of time you are in coma or confused (called posttraumatic amnesia) shows how severe the brain injury was. It sometimes takes a few months before the swelling, bleeding and bruising of the brain goes away and the brain begins to work better.
Not everyone recovers after brain injury at the same rate. Recovery takes time and depends on many factors, such as how your brain was injured, the severity of the injury, and if you have other health problems.
A brain injury may cause disabilities that change a person’s life, as well as the lives of family members.
What happens after acute care?
When you are medically stable, the hospital team may talk about the need for rehabilitation (rehab) and ongoing therapy and care. In rehab you can recover lost skills and learn different ways of managing personal and daily living. Some people need specialised brain injury interventions.
Rehab can occur in different places and involve several services. Some people will stay at one hospital. Other people will be transferred to a different hospital that may be closer to home, or return home to continue therapy as an outpatient or with community visits.
What does it mean for me?
The changes to the brain after injury are individual and complex. You may find that things that were easy before the brain injury are now difficult. You may experience changes with:
• thinking and memory
• eating and talking
• mobility (movement)
• getting along with others.
Some changes are immediately obvious (for example, if you have problems using your hand); others may not be a problem until you need to use the skills (for example, problem solving or doing a puzzle).
BIRP staff members will talk with you about working on goals in therapy and setting priorities. Goals can be specific for everyday tasks (such as walking safely across the road) or broader goals for education, employment, social participation and recreation.