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Inpatient Brain Injury Rehabilitation at UPMC

People with brain injuries have access to expert inpatient rehab at the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute at UPMC Mercy.

Our dedicated brain injury unit provides services such as:

  • Case management.
  • Neuropsychology.
  • Nursing.
  • Occupational and physical therapy.
  • Speech-language pathology.

Call 877-287-3422 to learn more about our inpatient brain injury rehab program or to refer a patient.


During rehab, you and your loved ones will work with the care team at least three hours a day to help improve:

  • Speaking and conversing.
  • Brain-based skills such as problem-solving, reasoning, and planning.
  • Problems with swallowing.
  • Physical function and daily living skills.

You also may see a neuropsychologist. They focus on the relationship between the brain and behavior.

Relearning Skills After a Brain Injury

Brain injury may cause you to lose skills you need for independent living. Rehabilitation for a brain injury helps you relearn those life skills.

Education begins on the first day of rehabilitation and continues throughout the process.

You'll have a daily rehab plan to help you relearn and practice:

  • Activities of daily living (ADL), including dressing, grooming, bathing, and feeding yourself.
  • Instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). These include managing money, paying bills, writing checks, cooking, managing medications, doing household chores, riding the bus, and so on.
  • Walking, sitting, and standing balance.
  • Using a wheelchair, if needed, including going up ramps.
  • Transferring onto and from a bed, toilet, tub, shower, chair, or sofa.
  • Getting in and out of a car.
  • Getting up and down stairs.
  • Moving around safely outdoors.
  • Communication skills, such as understanding what others are saying and expressing your needs.
  • Reading and writing.
  • Speaking and forming words.
  • Getting back to doing things you enjoy.

Skilled Rehab Programs

Skilled rehab programs provide nursing and therapy for people who can't handle three daily hours of inpatient brain injury rehab.

It's a step between a hospital stay for brain injury treatment and inpatient rehabilitation.

How long do people have to stay in skilled rehab?

How long you can expect to stay in rehab will depend on how severe your brain injury is.

The goal of skilled rehab is to help you become independent enough so you can return to a home setting.

Inpatient Brain Injury Rehab

The length of time for inpatient rehab depends on:

  • How severe your brain injury is.
  • What skills and functions your injury affects.
  • Your individual progress.

You'll have a case manager who will:

  • Work with your treatment team to help arrange your plan of care.
  • Provide resources tailored to your needs both while you're in the hospital and when you're ready to leave.

What can I expect during my inpatient rehab stay?

Your rehab team will go over your recovery goals and make a plan of care.

During your inpatient stay, rehabilitation will occur 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This includes:

  • Intensive scheduled rehab sessions at least five days a week with different therapists.
  • After-hours activity groups.
  • Interactions between staff and family members throughout your day.

Family Involvement During Brain Injury Rehabilitation

Taking part in your loved one's brain injury rehab is vital for them to get the full benefits.

We urge family members to come to the hospital routinely — not just to visit — but to learn about brain injury. This way, you can also take part in their treatment.

Taking an active role in your loved one's brain injury rehab:

  • Keeps you informed of their progress.
  • Makes for a smoother transition to their next phase of care.
  • Teaches you how to safely and effectively help them with daily tasks.

Family members can help in the following ways

To help your loved one during inpatient brain injury rehab, you can:

  • Attend occupational, physical, and speech therapy sessions.
  • Encourage and help them practice new skills they learned in therapy.
  • Visit them and do the things they enjoy. Play cards or another game. Listen to the radio or watch their favorite tv show.
  • Join them in their activities and meals.
  • Learn what they can do alone and what they need help doing.
  • Ask the doctors, nurses, and other members of their care team questions.
  • Spend time with their nurses to learn medication schedules.
  • Take care of yourself. Eat well, get enough rest, and take breaks from caregiving as needed.

Our Brain Injury Rehabilitation Experts

Contact Us About Our Inpatient Brain Injury Rehab Program

Call 877-287-3422 to learn more or refer a patient.