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Acquired Brain Injury

It has been estimated that at least two million people in the UK are living with the effects of acquired brain injury (ABI). ABI, is brain damage caused by events after birth, rather than damage caused as part of the following conditions:

  • Genetic or congenital disorder such as fetal alcohol syndrome, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, down syndromes.
  • Developmental disability such as spectrum disorders or Degenerative diseases such as ALS, HD, PD MS, Dementia
  • Degenerative diseases such as ALS, HD, PD MS, Dementia

The cause of acquired brain injury can be varied but it can be classified to traumatic Brain injury and non- traumatic brain injury.

There are many causes of ABI, including:

  • Traumatic brain injury, from road traffic collisions, falls and assaults
  • Stroke and other vascular disorders
  • Brain tumour
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Hypoxia/anoxia, such as from heart attacks, carbon monoxide poisoning, secondary complications of traumatic brain injury or complications during surgery (such as respiratory depression or embolism)
  • Brain abscess
  • Metabolic disorders (e.g. liver and kidney diseases and diabetic coma)
  • Other forms of poisoning and infectious disease
  • Electrolyte imbalances

Effect of brain Injury:

As the brain is involved in just about everything we do, injury to the brain can have a wide range of effects which can vary from person to person depending on the nature of cause of injury and severity. Some of these effects manifest when the person first sustain brain injury and some may have a long-term effect.

It is important to know the signs and symptoms and its effects can be subtle and easy to mistake for aspects of normal behaviour in the unusual environment. Therefore, it may be necessary to consider brain injury as a reason for the following behaviours:

  • Extreme fatigue – this may be put down to illness, medication or normal recovery
  • Inappropriate dis-inhibition or aggressiveness towards staff in hospital or family and friend
  • Lack of emotional engagement with family and friends
  • Failure to retain information to consent to medical procedures
  • Making irrational decisions, such as trying to discharge themselves from hospital
  • Personality changes
  • Lack of engagement and compliance with treatment
  • Lack of self-awareness or understanding of the current situation
  • Extreme mood swings

It would also be advisable to consider the following symptoms of brain injury listed. Any combination of these could be an indication of brain injury:

Physical symptoms:

  • Continence problems
  • Dizziness and balance problems
  • Epileptic seizures or absences
  • Fatigue, often severe
  • Headaches, often severe and persistent
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Movement and co-ordination problems
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Speech difficulties
  • Tinnitus
  • Weakness or paralysis
  • Visual disturbances

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Attention and concentration problems
  • Acquired dyslexia
  • Decision-making problems
  • Information processing difficulties
  • Language and communication problems
  • Memory problems
  • Object recognition problems (agnosia)
  • Problem-solving difficulties
  • Face recognition problems, even family and friends (prosopagnosia)
  • Planning and organisation difficulties
  • Perception problems (e.g. inability to perceive particular colours, sounds, shapes, movement, etc)

Emotional and behavioural symptoms

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Apathy and loss of motivation
  • Depression
  • Impaired insight and empathy
  • Impulsive and self-control problems
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Personality changes
  • Restlessness
  • Dis-inhibition
  • Egocentricity

Our Acquired Brain Injury Care and Support

Acquired brain injury is a life-changing condition that can be emotionally and physically challenging. Many receive little or no provision of rehabilitation or other support services after discharge from hospital. Since this condition can impact the brain, (see the effect of brain injury- as above) it can lead to difficulties in daily life, making an increased level of care and support essential. Home Care Preferred can help prevent this by looking after clients in the familiar surrounding of their own home. We have a dedicated brain injury team who understand the needs of an individual with acquired brain injury and can provide excellent care and support that can help maintain a comfortable quality of life while working on the rehabilitation process to reclaim essential skills.

At Home Care Preferred we train our team members to minimise the disruption of an acquired brain injury by providing the support our clients need to help them through their day to day life. Together, we create a support plan that is tailored to specific needs and preferences, allowing our clients to stay in the comfort of their own home, and in control of their rehabilitation process and routine.

Specifically trained to provide acquired brain injury support, our team members can help our clients with chores around their home, personal care and assistance with their rehabilitation plan including liaising with any multi-disciplinary team they are working with. Our team members are also trained to support complex needs, such as PEG Feeds, Stoma and Catheter Care, Oxygen Therapy, Nebuliser and Care of a Tracheostomy, to name a few. At Home Care Preferred we have a holistic approach towards our clients care and are there to carry out all the care aspects, giving family and friends the opportunity to spend significant quality time with their loved ones.

Our support assistants are also there to offer emotional support and companionship. They understand that while helping clients with the medical and practical aspects of care is important, reminiscing and chatting about shared interests is essential too.

At Home Care Preferred we are fully aware of the importance of continuity, therefore, we ensure that our clients are introduced to an intimate group of support assistants, who get to know and understand the needs and support required by our client. We also ensure that the team members who attend to our clients have similar personalities so that common interests and world view can build a healthy and caring relationship between our team member and our clients.

Our Acquired Brain Injury Care Includes:

·         Support with personal care that is person centred and tailored to each individual

·         Visiting care that can adapt as you progress in your rehabilitation process and as your needs change

·         Supporting case managers with planning and coordinating rehabilitation, care and support of individuals with an acquired brain injury

  • Supporting specialist nurses with home delivery of clinical care such as PEG feeds, Catheters, Medical gasses, Stoma and Catheter care, Oxygen therapy, Nebulisers and Care of a tracheostomy

·         Supporting your rehabilitation team such as occupational therapists, speech and language therapist and etc to meet the rehabilitation plan of individuals with an acquired brain injury

·         Supporting complex medication regimes

·         Short regular visit through to longer visits, night care, respite or full-time live-in carer

·         Specialist support assistants who are trained to help our clients as well as their families to understand the complexities of acquired brain injury

·         Bespoke and flexible support plan

·         Specialist support and expertise-24 hours a day,7 days a week

·         Social activities and lifestyle enhancement

·         Dedicated care team with over 25 years’ experience in the care sector

·         Full assessment before care starts

We understand that it can be confusing to decide on the right care and support for Acquired Brain Injury and it can be more difficult to let a support assistant into your home. Our experienced friendly team is here to explain all aspects of the care and support services we offer, and provide quality, impartial advice and information.

Contact us to learn more about Acquired Brain Injury care support services from our expert team.

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