23rd May 2019
Action for Brain Injury Week at National Care Group
Action For Brain Injury Week is a week-long awareness raising event that takes place between the 20th and 26th May 2019.
Also known as ABI Week, the event is organised by Headway, a leading charity that is dedicated to promoting understanding of all aspects of brain injury.
To recognise this week, we have worked alongside our ABI service, National Neurological Services (NNS), to publish case studies and stories featuring the people we support within NNS.
Ryan scores an award!
Ryan has always enjoyed playing football and has been working hard with the physiotherapy team and his assistant, Hannah Partridge, at Ashbrook Neurorehabilitation Centre.
With the support of his assistant and NNS, Ryan has been learning to develop skills such as his balance, coordination and strength, in order to improve his footballing ability.
Recently, Ryan has started to attend weekly Walking Football matches at the local Rochdale Leisure Centre, and after playing four games, he was rewarded with a trophy for being the, ‘Walking Football Player of the Week’ award.
He was awarded the accolade for his team-work, set-pieces and for scoring two brilliant goals.
Ryan visit at the Football Museum
Ashley, a person we support with NNS, is a huge football fan, and has been a boyhood Manchester City.
Because of his love of football, staff at NNS decided to take Ashley to the National Football Museum in Manchester, where he was able to see the Premier League trophy which his team won last season.
He was also able to take a picture alongside the FIFA World Cup Trophy, and also hold it for a picture.
His visit also consisted of him seeing some of the classic retro football kits and visit the Football Walk of Fame art gallery which had a range of illustrations of famous footballers. As a care provider, we want to ensure we are working alongside the people we support to ensure they are being active within the community through projects and visits that they find interesting.
Due to Ashley’s condition, he finds it difficult in areas with loud noises, and as a football fan, taking him to a football stadium was unfortunately not possible.
But our staff did their research and found that a visit to the museum was a great option for him, allowing him for him to have a trip relevant to football and be in a safe environment.
My journey so far – written by a person we support
Due to a personal tragedy, I began to drink heavily and in 2005, I was diagnosed with psychotic reactive depression.
After suffering a stroke in 2007, the mobility of my right arm, my speech and frontal lobe was severely affected, which meant I had to attend for my mobility, speech and brain injury, however none of them worked. Due to this, I become very depressed and I was then sectioned under the mental health act and was detained on a brain injury unit in Liverpool in 2016.
Life at the brain injury unit was not suitable for me, I didn’t eat much, was not participating in much activities and rarely communicated with others.
I lived my life like this for the best part of 3 years, after being when introduced to my new Support Worker, I told her that the injury unit was not a place I wanted to live anymore and whether it was possible to move.
My Support Worker said she would look into it and she came back a month or so later with NNS. I was shown some pictures and was introduced to the manager, since them my life started to change.
Due to my condition and past trauma, I was not the easiest person to care for, being depressed and frequently angry, I was even showing aggressive behaviour towards the people who supported me, both verbal and physical.
But the manager understood what I was going through and showed me the correct support and respect that allowed me to be more confident and open up more.
In February 2019, the manager took a chance on me and I was transferred to NNS. This was going to be a big change, I was excited but nervous and scared all at the same time, it didn’t take long for NNS to become my home and I felt really good about the move.
However, I did continue to get very frustrated when the staff could not understand what I was saying, and it took time to get to know all the new faces.
Just a couple of months have passed but I am now in a completely different world, I go out in the community every single day, I plan all my own activities, including cooking, baking, ironing, walking one of the staff’s dogs, I do my own shopping list and the staff take me shopping.
With the support of the staff I am now alcohol free, and the manager has even turned one of the lounges into a music room as she knows I love my music.
Even physically I feel like I have come a long way, with my mobility showing signs of improvement, and my speech becoming clearer.
I still get down at times, I still get angry now and then but if I can achieve this in 2 months, I am very excited to see where I am in 6 months’ time.
Thanking the staff at NNS isn’t enough, their effort, care and support has meant so much to me.
I still have a way to go, but my life is looking much brighter and can’t wait to continue my improvement at NNS in the future!