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Care After a Brain Injury - Who Can Help?

Author: Neil Fearn  Bullet  Dated: 03/06/2015

One of the main fears for both a person suffering from a brain injury, and their loved ones, is how you will be able to cope with any current care needs, rehabilitation needs, and long term care.

You can feel like your slowly sinking without proper care for your head injury

Leaving the Hospital - Discharge Assessments

Many people are uncertain about what happens when the time comes to leave the hospital, will there be any NHS support provided?

What if I need long term care?

Before you are allowed to leave the hospital, your care professional must make sure that you are medically fit to leave. They also need to conduct a discharge assessment, to assess the level of support you require. The findings from this assessment will be used to make a care plan which will include details of how much support will be provided, who is responsible for the support, when this will be reviewed and what happens in case of emergency.

The discharge assessment and care plan must be completed and be in place before you can leave the hospital. It is really important that everyone feels comfortable about the change before it takes place, as this can make all the difference in easing stress and making the adjustment easier.

Continuing Care?

The level of care provided will depend on your current needs, whether you are likely to recover from your brain injury and need less care, or if you will be left with long term disability. NHS Continuing Care is care that continues when you have left the hospital, and is funded by the NHS.

Residential Care – This will be used when your relative no longer needs intensive care, but needs enough care that means they cannot go back to living at home. Headway recommend that you should try to find a home that specialises in caring for people with brain injuries, as this can help to maximise improvement. Assessing funding for this involves means testing; therefore you may need to contribute to the costs.

Intermediate Care – This can be used when you no longer need hospital care, but you need some care until your condition improves. The provisions put in place usually last 6 weeks or less, and this can be in your own home or a care home.

Care at Home – If you are likely to suffer from long term disability, but are able to live at home, a care worker may be able to visit the home to help with everyday needs. This can help with cooking, cleaning, washing or shopping to name a few. Social workers and care professionals should visit beforehand to find out what care is needed and if any adaptions need to take place. If you need help funding adjustments to the home, your local council can decide whether to offer a means tested Disabled Facilities Grant.

Additional Support and Advice

Getting in touch with charities that offer support and advice can make all the difference for an individual, or a loved one learning to adjust to how your life has changed following a brain injury. Headway offer a free helpline to support those with head injuries or their family, and the Child Brain Injury Trust also provide advice to people who have children with brain injuries.

It may be the case that you encounter problems trying to get the care that you, or a relative needs. For example, some people experience problems in securing care at all as initial eligibility decisions, or reviews on the continued care see funded care can be refused. In this situation, you may decide to appeal the decision. Getting the right help and advice during this time can be the key to securing the care that you need to move forward with your life.

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