Module 3: Promoting skills for independence

3.0 Aim, rational, key concepts and outcomes


The module is for support workers who provide direct care and assistance to people who have had traumatic brain injuries (TBI). It offers practical strategies that can help individuals with a TBI to increase their independence. These strategies can be used in the person’s own home, in a residential care setting or a Transitional Living Unit.


After a traumatic brain injury, a person’s ability to participate in everyday activities in their home and community environments may be significantly disrupted and skills which they routinely performed may have to be relearned or managed differently. They may need supervision and/or assistance for personal tasks such as showering, dressing and grooming. As well as domestic and community tasks such as cleaning, cooking, shopping and catching public transport.

When the person returns home from hospital, it is likely that they will be receiving continuing treatment from rehabilitation professionals, who will be assisting them to increase their independence and achieve their goals. Support workers are a vital part of this process as they work together with therapists and the person with a TBI to enhance their independence and increase their participation in daily activities.

This module provides some basic guidelines and strategies to assist support workers to facilitate the person in these areas.

Although increased independence signifies progress and is to be encouraged, there are times when this may pose risks for individuals. The module will help you be aware and mindful of possible risks.


At the end of this module, you should be aware of:

3.1 Roles across the lifespan and the daily living skills that can be impacted following a TBI.
3.2 How impairments resulting from a TBI may impact upon a person’s performance of daily tasks
3.3 The importance of encouraging and facilitating a person with a TBI to participate in everyday activities
3.4 The rehabilitation process
3.5 Basic goal identification and setting to assist a person with a TBI to maximise their independence
3.6 Practical strategies to use when helping a person become more independent with everyday living activities.
3.7 Potential risks and dangers associated with increased independence and how to manage these risks..
3.8 How to access resources and assistance when required.

Module 3 Compiled by:

Cara Egan, Kate Hopman and Tanya Secheny, Senior Occupational Therapists and Kerryn Moorhouse, Occupational Therapist Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit Liverpool Hospital, Sydney