e) The person with the ABI Next f)

i) The person with the ABI

A person with an acquired brain injury has had a life before the injury. Unless they are very young when they had the injury they will remember the life they had.

The acquired brain injury may have affected their:

  • thinking skills - cognitive
  • communication/language
  • physical/sensory
  • emotional/behavioural/personality.

In addition to experiencing these changes the person with the ABI has to respond to and come to terms with their new life situation.

They also have to deal with their family members and friends coming to terms with the changes in them.

As with any major life change loss, grief and rediscovery are part of the process.

However it is not a neat linear emotional process that everyone works though in a given time.

Rules of thumb

  1. Understand the injury, its effects and effects on behaviour

  2. Understand the individuals and family responses in dealing with this change

  3. Understand the individual person and their life / goals prior to the ABI.

 

A case manager said

It is difficult to acquire appropriate services for people with acquired brain injury. I think that in some instances that may be because there is a lack of understanding about the nature of acquired brain injury and it is also because there is limited funding for services. I guess there is a bit of a perception that people are difficult and it just demonstrates a lack of understanding about the unique nature of acquired brain injury.

The message I would give to those people is to have a bit of understanding. We are all unique beings and we all have unique needs and I guess patience, patience and understanding is the key. Take a bit of time out to try and learn about what it means to be someone that has been affected this way. I think the big issues is that there is a bit of generalisation about people with acquired brain injury. People with acquired brain injury are quite often people who have had very rich, full lives, full of experiences that I could never even perceive. And then something has happened and changed that life in just a second and it is a very difficult process to move on from that and to have to start all over again in some circumstances.

 

ii) Clip 8. Ian's Support Worker : Unique & Getting to Know (45 sec)

People with ABI are unique and it takes time to get to know them.

     

iii) Clip 12. Case Manager : Friends (1 min)

A case manager talking about people with ABI and friends.

     

iv) Clip 11. Case Manager : Clients In Community (1 min 45 sec)

A case manager talking about people with ABI's experiences in the community.

     

v) Questions

Answer the following question:

You have a new information and referral worker interacting with people with acquired brain injury and their family members. You are explaining some of the emotional experiences and issues a person with an ABI may have.

What are some of the points you make?

   Check your answers here

1. A person with an acquired brain injury has had a life before the injury. Unless they are very young when they had the injury they will remember the life they had. They will have experienced loss and grief.

2. The acquired brain injury may have effected their:

  • thinking skills - cognitive
  • communication/language
  • physical/sensory
  • emotional/behavioural/personality.

3. These can impact on their emotions - e.g. they may have a period of depression, they may have some personality change.

4. These emotional changes caused by the brain injury are not mental illness.

5. In addition to experiencing these changes the person with the ABI has to respond to and come to terms with their new life situation.

6. They also have to deal with their family members and friends coming to terms with the changes in them.