Wellness | Mental Health, Physical Health, Sports Recreation

Association for the Rehabilitation of the Brain Injured (ARBI)

We strive to improve the lives of individuals with severe brain injury, including stroke. The ARBI approach blends science and compassion to create hope for survivors.

Our Story

Why We Exist

“Before my accident when I was 24, I had been living in Didsbury on my own in a basement suite. I had a boyfriend who lived in Edmonton. I was extremely happy. I was young, I figured I was invincible. I had a job supporting a girl who has Down’s Syndrome. Her name is Nicole and she was fun to work with. The day of our accident, we were delivering the Coffee News as always. As we were driving through the intersection we were T-boned by a truck. Luckily, Nicole didn’t get hurt, because she had been sleeping in the back seat, but I was the one who was very badly hurt. Because of this, my life TURNED upside down.

I was taken by STARS to the Foothills hospital where I was in intensive care for 3 weeks. To which I appreciate those people that saved my life. I was there during the next nine months, doing basic rehab to help me. And at this time, I wasn’t aware of my injury, so I wasn’t aware that I even needed rehab. I then moved to Ponoka for another 8 months. My Momma lived in an apartment there and Dad would come up on the weekends. I still believed that I could walk and I wasn’t aware that I had had a brain injury, which made rehab very difficult. But they eventually got me out of the wheelchair into a walker. This was a very hard time for my family and I. But they did have a ceramics class, and I loved to make a lot of pottery.

I was not only dealing with a brain injury but, some people in my life very obviously thought I was MUCH too hard to deal with! Even the guy who loved me, and my best friend disappeared, so I felt completely abandoned. But now, I’m taking it as a blessing in disguise from God, if they didn’t want to stick around, then it’s their loss.

I have a lot more limitations now and I am not able to be as independent as I had been before. I lost my driver’s license, as well as my ability to live on my own. Things that used to be easy for me are much more difficult. Like, now have double vision, my memory is quite faulty and my right hand has a tremor in it.

My therapies, such as speech, occupational, physical and music therapy will help me to be able to get back to the job I had working for an autobody supplier with my Dad. I’m lucky to have my family support and social activities, but it’s just a slow process. I do a lot of physical activity, aside from going to ARBI 3 days a week, I go to the gym frequently and I go for walks. I feel really good about it because, it wasn’t long ago I was in a wheelchair!

It’s nice to have such a wonderful support team at ARBI cheering me on from the sidelines, they’re very encouraging!

And for those who are struggling in any way, I say, keep trucking on! And take it one step at a time, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”

– Kristin Bradley
ARBI Client

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.

IMPACT (2017-2018):

  • We served 150 clients and their families;
  • We utilised the services of 177 volunteers who logged 8,449 hours.  Three-quarters of our volunteers are post-secondary students, and the health care professionals of tomorrow.
  • 100% of clients said ARBI impacted their quality of life in a positive way;
  • We have three core programs: On-Site Program (which included Aphasia Group, ARBI 101, the Caregiver Support Group and Intensive Rehabilitation), the Outreach Program (which included Intensive Rehabilitation and the Outreach Aphasia Group), and our Community Integration Program (which included ArtBi/Wildflower Art Program, Bud’s Exercise Group, Community Kitchen, Gardening Group, Golf Group, Music Group, Walking Group and Woodshop Group).

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 organisation built on the strength of the community and we continue to look for community members to help us achieve our mission. There are three ways to get involved with ARBI:

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.

Give: ARBI’s budget for 2018-2019 is approximately $2.5 million. Alberta Community and Social Services, Alberta Health Services and Alberta Infrastructure makes up just over half of our budget. For the remaining, we raise $1 million from the community, including individuals, corporations, foundations and service clubs. Ultimately, we could not do what we do without the community’s support!

PROGRAM BUDGET NEED
On-site Program $1,764k $699k
Outreach Program $219k $116k
ARBI is very lean; in 2017/2018, our administration costs were approximately 8.8%.

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 Instagram and LinkedIn and stay connected with this important cause.

 

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Contact

Derek Bechthold

Association for the Rehabilitation of the Brain Injured (ARBI)

403.242.7116

Charitable Number: 140599507RR0001

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