Association for the Rehabilitation of the Brain Injured (ARBI)
Our Story Why We Exist
Ten days after suffering a severe traumatic brain injury in a car accident, Lukasz’ doctors advised his family to consider removing him from life support. They were told that if he survived, he would remain in a vegetative state for the rest of his life.
Believing he would recover, his family rejected that advice and refused to let him go. One month later, Lukasz emerged from his coma and spoke his first words: “Mama.”
Working tirelessly on his rehabilitation programs over the last five years, Lukasz now lives at home with his family and is independent in daily activities such as dressing, personal hygiene, and household chores. He works out at the fitness centre five days a week, snowboards using an adaptive board and he is enjoying cooking again.
Lately he’s been developing his public speaking skills, too. He helped raise $268,000 for ARBI as the keynote speaker in our 2011 Sponsor Our Survivors Breakfast. He has spoken to doctors and nurses at the Foothills Trauma Unit. Most recently, Lukasz gave his first speech at the PARTY Program (Preventing Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth), teaching kids about making safe choices.
Last year, Lukasz was featured in a national TELUS Campaign, Empowering a Generation of Opportunity.
Our Impact What We Do
We unite professionals, volunteers and caregivers throughout Alberta to provide personalized rehabilitation and community integration.
We believe that every client and every family deserves to have hope for the future. Our expertise and experience has shown us that survivors can regain lost abilities, increase independence and reconnect with their communities. With appropriate rehabilitation, significant improvements can happen even years following an injury.
MISSION | ARBI transforms the lives of individuals with acquired brain injury through rehabilitation and community integration.
VISION | Everyone with a brain injury lives the best life possible.
For the 12 months – 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 – ARBI saw a 25% growth to 125 in the TOTAL number of clients we served. From April 2016 to December 2016 alone we have served 130 clients – thus in nine months we have exceeded clients served the previous 12 months.
Supporting our clients during - from April 2016 to December 2016 - ARBI had 191 volunteers who logged 9,804 total hours – this included 8,677 direct client care hours. We are well on our way of exceeding our previous 12 month totals of 10,265 hours. More than 75% of our frontline volunteers are post-secondary students and practicum students who come from a myriad of faculties and departments, including Education, Social Work, Psychology, Kinesiology and Community Rehabilitation and Disabilities Studies
Our social worker and psychologist provided support to 35 families coping with a variety of challenges including addictions, mental health issues, legal matters, financial problems, caregiver burnout and housing needs.
OUR BELIEFS AND VALUES:
- Quality of Life – All individuals deserve to live their best possible life and should be active community participants.
- Hope – We believe that every client and every family deserves to have hope for the future.
- Teamwork – Our positive culture values the teamwork amongst clients, volunteers and staff.
- Trust – Our staff and volunteers are caring, and they help clients reach their goals in an atmosphere of integrity and trust.
- Dignity and Respect – We treat each client with respect and dignity at all times.
- Diversity – We embrace diversity in our clients, volunteers and staff; we believe our differences bring us closer together.
- Advocacy – We advocate for our clients and their families to help make life better.
Our Programs How We Do It
No two brain injuries are alike, just as no two people are alike. Survivors will have goals that are meaningful to them and unique to their circumstances. This is why ARBI’s service model, made of three main components, is highly successful.
- The On-site program includes both individual and group activities that range from intensive rehabilitation to social and emotional support. Depending on the severity of the injury, initial goals may vary from learning how to swallow or speak, to long-term goals that may include planning a day trip, volunteering in the community or moving back home with loved ones.
- The Outreach program offers personalized rehabilitation programs, for people with severe brain injury and stroke, carried out in their place of residence or in their community.
- Community integration and acceptance is critical to improving survivors’ self-esteem and quality of life. In the Community Integration Program, clients participate in weekly leisure or volunteer activities either individually or in groups.
Our Requests What You Can Do
ARBI is a grassroots organization built on the strength of the community and we continue to look for community members to help us achieve our mission. If you are looking for a challenging, fun, hands-on experience we have opportunities for you.
Volunteer: Volunteers sustain our programs. Programs are tailored to each client by our multi-disciplinary in-house team of therapists, and volunteers work with the clients to carry them out.
- This is an ideal opportunity for individuals working from home, employed part-time, retired, semi-retired, with a flexible work schedule, or a student planning to enter medically related fields of study.
Practicum: ARBI provides practicum placements for students. In doing so we are supporting the education and growth of our community members. Most of our students are pursuing careers in rehabilitation, disability and medically related studies.
- ARBI extensively trains practicum students to implement client programs.
Advocate: The discussion around brain injury is more audible than ever. Join in, and help promote brain injury awareness in our community.
- Join our community on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and stay connected with this important cause.
Tickets: Do you have extra tickets to sporting or entertainment events? ARBI will distribute these tickets to clients and volunteers. We kindly ask that you donate them in advance of the event so that we may arrange for appropriate transportation.