Over the past month the care team at the Gainesville VA has been working tirelessly with Ray to determine the next best option to continue his TBI recovery process. Several options were examined with Ray’s input and participation, and we now finally have a plan in the works. Sometime over the next few weeks, once all the approvals and paperwork have been completed, Ray will be transferred to Avalon Park in Orlando, which is Neuro Restorative’s premier facility in Florida. The range of services provided and the tailored living environment the site offers will not only allow Ray to receive a great amount of autonomy in his personal recovery but also help him to properly engage in more aggressive therapies through a wide range of rehab services. This option has the greatest potential in helping Ray to reach his own personal goals and to hopefully one day be able to live independently once again.
As Ray approaches one year post accident next month it will be critical that he stay motivated in his recovery over the next few years. Both the family and the care team feel that Ray is ready for the more aggressive therapies offered at Avalon Park and once he becomes more acclimated to the new environment there will most likely be more noticeable improvements being made. The only way to better guarantee further progress in recovery will be to continue with aggressive rehab services. Ray has been followed by many great services providers over these past eleven months and has benefited greatly from their superb assistance. This next step will further that great service offered and provide Ray the best chance possible at making new gains.
For now Ray will continue to stay at the Gainesville VA until the transfer documentation process has been completed. Visitors are still welcome during the scheduled hours but phone calls have been restricted to family only. Closer to time of Ray’s transfer, we should know more about visitation and calling options at Avalon Park. There will be far less restrictions for him than now but it will still be a care facility with scheduled therapy times. For those interested, please check out the hyperlink above for Avalon Park to learn more about the many great options. We are overly excited for Ray to be able to participate in such a great program. A huge thanks goes out to the many service providers on his care team that have worked together to make this happen. It is encouraging to us all to know that Ray has such a great group of people supporting him through his recovery.
The care team at the Gainesville VA is still undergoing assessment of Ray to determine the best possible next step that can fully support his needs. There is a considerable amount of coordination needed before a transfer can be made to a specialized therapy option. Before Ray can be considered for one of these options, he will need to be open and willing to participate in the program. The past few weeks he has been somewhat open to the options provided. Ray is doing his best to make the most of the situation given his current restrictions and placement.
If you can, please visit or call Ray for encouragement. Day passes for earlier visitation may be granted by a physician on the care team if you call ahead. Normal visiting hours are from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. He does not have a direct line yet but can be reached at 352-548-6000 x1500. We need to focus support on helping Ray to engage more with the care team. This will greatly help in getting him out of the psych ward more quickly and on with his TBI recovery. Please continue to show your support by helping Ray to accept help and move on.
It is approaching two weeks since Ray was transferred to the Gainesville VA hospital. There has been very little information provided by the care team for an update on the situation. So far he is still under evaluation in the psych ward and we are awaiting an official plan of care to decide what option is best. Ray has become more willing to cooperate with the therapists and appears to be engaging well with staff. It will be important for him to remain open to help and to keep a positive frame of mind. This attitude should also allow for a more immediate transfer to a rehab unit. For now we await word from the care team on what next step is determined.
Visitors are still welcome to help encourage Ray. Given where he is currently situated, there are still restrictions on visitation. Again he is in room 518 on 5 East of the new VA building and visiting hours are from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. He is currently only allowed two people to see him at one time and no items are permitted into the room when visiting. Hopefully there will be a change in Ray’s plan of care next week and he will be moved to rehab and enjoy more engaging therapies in addition to added freedom. Please continue to focus all your positive thoughts and prayers on Ray.
Over the past few weeks the family has witnessed a noticeable more aggressive change in Ray. He has become more stubborn in following the rules of his care team and unwilling to participate in all of his needed therapies. His mindset has become altered in which he feels it unnecessary to receive appropriate help for his recovery. While at home he has refused the use of his walker and wheelchair, and there have been a few days where he completely refused any therapy. We are not seeing Ray engaging fully in practices that will help him recovery more quickly. What we are seeing appears to be a regression that if not changed could severely impact the extent of how much he will recover. We have addressed these concerns with the VA care team to see what may be possible but unfortunately Ray has been unwilling to participate in the options so far provided.
Last night Ray had an incident while at home in which he had to be rushed to the hospital. He was able to get into his tremor medicine, which is a large bottle of liquid, and consumed unknown quantities. Due to his bad tremors he spilt the medicine all over the floor making a slip hazard which caused him to fall down several times and chip his teeth. Fortunately Ray did not consume a lethal amount of the medicine and aside from the tooth injury and a few scrapes there does not appear to be any other damage. Since Ray is not able to properly cooperate in the care process while at home a decision was made last night to transfer him to the Gainesville VA. He has become a safety risk that could lead to many other incidents if not properly controlled. While at the VA Ray will be able to get the care he needs to better help in his recovery.
Thus far Ray remains in denial on what is needed for his recovery. He has been placed in the pscych ward of the VA hospital. As such there are restrictions on interaction with him at this time. Once Ray is more willing to cooperate, he can be immediately placed into a rehab program where he will be able to take full advantage of all the services offered. We all need to focus on Ray coming to terms with his situation and accepting help. If anyone would like to visit him he is in room 518 on 5 East. Visiting hours are from 6:00 – 8:00 and restricted to only two people at a time. No items are allowed into the room either when visiting.
Given the sudden change in Ray’s situation we have yet to formulate a new plan of care. This week we will work out the details on an approach more suitable to what is needed. We really need to focus on Ray getting onboard with his options. The more he resists the longer his delay in receiving the full benefit of the recovery process. Ray has it in his mind that he will be able to get back into his old life very quickly. Unfortunately that may not be the case and he needs to come to terms with reality. Once he accepts there will be the opportunity for improvement. Please keep your thoughts and prayers focused on Ray during these next few weeks.