Brain injury rehabilitation and recovery

Delivering physical, mental, and emotional rehabilitation throughout the entire continuum of traumatic and non-traumatic brain injury care.

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brain injury patient at sheltering arms institute


Personalized care, total commitment

As one of only 16 federally recognized Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems centers in the country and the only Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems center in Virginia, Sheltering Arms Institute offers expert care at every stage of the rehabilitation and recovery process for patients who have sustained a traumatic or non-traumatic brain injury to help people achieve the fullest recovery possible.

Learn more about our inpatient and outpatient brain injury rehabilitation services.

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Comprehensive care, optimal outcomes

From mild concussions to life-altering brain traumas, the highly specialized traumatic brain injury team at Sheltering Arms Institute is committed to improving the physical, emotional, and social well-being of each patient.

More therapy time, accelerated outcomes

Patients receiving inpatient care at Sheltering Arms Institute receive 15% more therapy time than the baseline standards established by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

Consistently positive outcomes

80% of individuals who have experienced a brain injury and receive care at Sheltering Arms Institute are discharged home or to a community setting, higher than both national and regional averages.

Personalized care, deep experience

Sheltering Arms Institute clinicians rehabilitate approximately 400 patients with brain injuries each year.

Happy patients and happy families

Sheltering Arms Institute patients with brain injuries report a 90% patient satisfaction rate with 90% of patients likely to recommend Sheltering Arms Institute to a friend.

Functional outcomes and cognitive return

The brain injury team at Sheltering Arms Institute analyzes discipline-specific data that measure not only functional outcomes, but cognitive return.

Relationships matter

Sheltering Arms Institute invests in building strong relationships with community partners that include family/caregiver education and support groups, care management services, day programs, return to work, and post-discharge follow-up care to engage long-term with patients and their support system.


Understanding traumatic brain injury rehabilitation and recovery

There are two ways in which brain injuries can occur:

  1. Closed Brain Injury: This occurs when there is a non-penetrating injury to the brain with no break in the skull. A closed brain injury is caused by a fast forward or backward movement and shaking of the brain inside the skull. This causes bruising and tearing of brain tissue and blood vessels. Closed brain injuries are often the result of car accidents, falls, or contact sports.
  2. Penetrating or Open Head Injury: This happens when there is a break in the skull such as when a bullet, blunt object, or a piece of shrapnel pierces the brain.

Common traumatic brain injury symptoms include: 

  • Blurred vision
  • Body weakness or fatigue
  • Confusion or memory problems
  • Difficulty with noise/light
  • Headaches
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Heightened emotions
  • Overwhelmed easily
  • Trouble speaking (aphasia)
  • Vomiting

It is vitally important that if you are currently attempting to determine whether or not you or someone close to you has experienced a traumatic brain injury that you contact emergency medical services such as a doctor or by calling 911.

Traumatic brain injury therapies at Sheltering Arms Institute seek to improve: 

  • Physical functioning
  • Activities of daily living
  • Behavior
  • Psychosocial and emotional well-being
  • Speech, swallowing, and cognitive functioning

While the following schedule is a sample and for illustrative purposes only, individuals participating in inpatient rehab can expect an average of 3-5 hours of therapy each day. Individual schedules vary based on each patient’s care plan and level of injury.

7-9 a.m. – Physician Rounds

8:30-9 a.m. – Breakfast

9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Physical / Occupational / Speech / Recreation / Therapy

12:30-1 p.m. – Lunch

1-4 p.m. – More Therapy

4-5 p.m. – Therapeutic Recreation Groups

5:30-6 p.m. – Dinner

6-7 p.m. – Therapeutic Recreation Groups

7-8 p.m. – Medications and Bedtime Preparations

Start your Journey

Learn more about inpatient and outpatient brain injury rehabilitation at Sheltering Arms Institute

Contact a specialist at Sheltering Arms Institute to learn more about how you can gain more freedom in your everyday life.