Every 90 seconds, someone is admitted to a UK hospital with an acquired brain injury¹. That totals just under 1,000 people per day, who began a ‘normal’ day that ended up with life-changing trauma. And that figure is made up of people, dear to their families – daughters, partners, grandparents, young people – now supported by Livability in residential care or other care contexts. None of us want to contemplate this – but the person with an acquired disability could be you, or your loved one. Livability is there when the unthinkable happens. Find out why our specialised help is so vital for people with an acquired brain injury…
Mobility, speech, continence, sight and cognition are areas that are often drastically affected by this kind of injury. A stretched NHS can struggle to provide timely rehabilitation therapy in every locality, which means recovery can stall and hope dwindle. Livability provides specialist services, highly trained and experienced staff and a proven track record in not only supporting people to live well with disability, but in enabling them to recover further than their diagnosis, or experience to date, predicted. One in three people who live at Livability Treetops, one of the charity’s specialist nursing homes, moved there because of an acquired brain injury. Their lives were changed in an instant, whether in their twenties or fifties, by events including a heart-stopping electric shock, a car accident and a bleed on the brain.
Take Laura, featured in our new film (above). In her twenties, Laura experienced a massive brain injury, out of the blue, when she fell, which left her paralysed and fighting for life. In a moment, she went from a carefree life, with a degree, job, boyfriend and flat, to someone with profound disabilities who could not speak, eat or breathe unaided and who needed 24/7 care. A 1am phone call was how Laura’s mum Janet learned her daughter had had a life-threatening accident.
Now Laura lives at specialised nursing home Livability Kenway Court, where she has recovered further than expected. As Janet says: ‘Laura has come on in leaps and bounds. She’s become more independent, her speech has improved and the staff enable her to make her own choices.’ Knowing Laura is safe and happy at Kenway has transformed Janet’s life too: ‘Before she was here, I used to leave her, sit in the car and just cry my eyes out because I didn’t want to leave her. Now I can think that I’m going home, I can switch off and be “normal”. The staff here don’t just support Laura, they support me too.’
Laura is determined to keep a positive attitude to her changed life. ‘Staff at Kenway Court have helped me to improve my speech immensely,’ she says. ‘I’ve gone from only being able to vocalise a couple of single words to holding full conversations. And staff have helped me develop self-confidence. I have come to recognise I’m not alone or different to everyone within the home.’ Not only that, but Laura has written a book about her experience, something she undertook to help others going through a similar experience.
Mandy Nixon, a Livability manager and nurse who has over 20 years’ experience in caring for those with acquired disability, says: ‘Supporting Livability enables us to have specialised services, like Livability Treetops, Livability Kenway Court and Livability Icanho, our day care rehabilitation service. It means we can have highly trained staff teams who have time for people and their families as well as providing the essentials of daily care. It means sometimes we’re able to purchase specialist equipment which helps people progress their rehabilitation. It means Livability can be there when the unthinkable happens to us or someone we love.’
¹ MEDIAmaker (n.d.). Every 90 seconds. [online] www.headway.org.uk. Available at: https://www.headway.org.uk/news-and-campaigns/campaigns/every-90-seconds/.
Almost 1000 people per day are admitted into hospital with an acquired brain injury
One in three people who live at Livability Treetops have an acquired brain injury and or disability
As little as £15 could help us provide counselling for someone after a life-changing trauma to the brain, supporting them to look ahead to their rehabilitation and recovery