Our guide to supported living for people with an acquired brain injury
At Lifeways, we understand making the move into supported living is a big step. We're here to give you all the information you need on supported living for people with an acquired brain injury (ABI).
What is an acquired brain injury?
Acquired brain injuries (ABI) refer to any brain injury acquired after birth. ABIs can occur as a result of events such as trauma that leads to a head injury, or as a result of other medical conditions such as strokes, infections or tumours. Each person’s condition is unique meaning the long-term effects can be difficult to predict and the recovery times are different for each person.
For many people living with an ABI, it can be common to experience both physical and mental fatigue, making everyday tasks such as planning, processing information and solving problems more challenging. Jo Lourmpa, Group Lead Specialist Support Officer at Lifeways, explains that behavioural changes can take different forms such as poor memory and concentration, difficulty problem solving, or an increase in verbal and physical aggression.
What is supported living for people with an acquired brain injury?
Supported living for people living with an ABI provides specialist, personalised support. We offer support in all aspects of life with a focus on regaining everyday skills and building confidence, with the end goal of getting back out into the community. We also offer initial support in transitioning out of inpatient rehabilitation to back home with loved ones.
A move into supported living can be a big step to greater independence. By choosing supported living you’ll be in control of how you choose to spend your time, safe and secure behind your own front door, but with the peace of mind of having support and encouragement always on hand to ensure you’re living the most fulfilling life possible.
Recovery from an ABI looks different for every individual, but will always involve a number of professionals coming together (a Specialist Support Team) to create an individual treatment and intervention plan. Positive Behaviour Support can often be part of the recovery journey.
The Specialist Support Team will work alongside clinical and rehabilitation teams such as Rehabilitation Consultants, Neuropsychologists, Physiotherapists, Occupational and Speech and Language Therapists to understand the impact of the ABI and the next steps in the Neurorehabilitation process - whether that’s physical, behavioural or cognitive.
How do Lifeways support people with an acquired brain injury?
At Lifeways, we understand that living with an ABI can make life more challenging. We also understand it’s important to offer different levels of support, tailored to a person’s needs, to ensure that they live happy, fulfilled lives, and we achieve this by making sure each person we support has the right team around them.
Our dedicated teams are highly experienced in providing brain injury rehabilitation. Each individual has a carefully curated plan tailored to support their needs ensuring it is possible to reach their future goals, no matter how big or small, and to arrange additional support such as physiotherapy, and speech and language therapy as and when required.
At Lifeways, we believe that people shouldn’t be defined by their condition, and understand that every person’s needs are different. This is no different when providing support for someone living with an ABI. The level of support we provide is completely flexible - whether it's just a few hours a week or 24-7, we can use our in-depth understanding of acquired brain injuries to adapt our plans around each person. We make sure we take the time to get to know each person, to hear their story so far and gain an understanding of the right approach for the short, medium and long term.
Support from Lifeways - Steve’s story
When Steve was 18 years old he was involved in a car accident which resulted in an acquired brain injury – presenting as poor short-term memory, a lack of confidence and complex behavioural needs.
Steve was previously living in a care home but had a number of safeguarding referrals and was at risk of losing his place due to some challenging and aggressive behaviours. Following a full assessment, it was identified that Steve would need a specialist service which supported people with acquired brain injuries - and was directed to one of Lifeways’ residential high-complex care services.
It was important to Steve to spend regular time with his family and be involved in his local community, and so Lifeways put together a personalised support plan that met his needs and wishes.
“Our family is really happy that Steve has found a home and support that’s right for him.”
Suzanne, Steve’s mum
Since moving to Lifeways, Steve’s challenging behaviours and aggressive outbursts have significantly reduced. He is much more social and interacts well with staff and other residents, and can now visit and stay with his parents – something he was previously unable to do.
How can Lifeways help?
Lifeways is the UK’s leading team of support professionals for adults with diverse and complex needs. Lifeways has support teams in locations across the UK, meaning that help is never too far away. Our teams are made up of highly experienced staff who provide life-changing partnerships and high levels of fulfilment to those in need.
At Lifeways, we’re proud to support people who live with a range of complex conditions. As well as acquired brain injuries, Lifeways also support people living with learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities and mental health conditions.
You can read more about supported living here, and how we can support you in making a smooth transition. If you’d like to find out more information or have any questions about support for people living with acquired brain injuries, please get in touch and our friendly team will be happy to help.