Medical respite programs provide a safe place for people experiencing homelessness to recover from an acute illness or injury. Many patients in respite programs have experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that impedes their ability to complete the self-management tasks necessary to recover from an acute medical condition. Patients with brain injuries may also have behavioral problems that are difficult to manage in a medical respite setting.
This paper describes the experiences of one medical respite program in screening, assessing, and treating patients experiencing homelessness who have traumatic brain injuries.
Services by clinical providers were tailored to better address needs of those with a history of TBI, as well as implementation of environmental modifications. Two retrospective case studies were completed to illustrate the importance of addressing TBIs in respite programs.
Modifications to programming can improve patient outcomes and assist in transitioning patients to appropriate community resources.
Identifying and treating patients with TBIs in respite programs can result in long-term positive benefits for patients.