m) The family, community and support staff are where change happens   Next n)

i) Change happens in the day to day.

Change happens in the day to day. If a person without an ABI goes to see a psychologist a lot of progress can be made in the interview. The person generates their own plans for integrating therapy in day to day life.

If a person with an ABI goes to see a psychologist, and they have for example problems with planning, coordinating, memory then they will need additional support for these impairments in order to make progress. The support will be to provide day to day strategies, processes and systems - e.g. putting memory aids in place to enable a person with ABI to integrate the therapy into their everyday life.

Professionals working with people with ABI have an additional aspect to their work - identifying how to embed in the day to day what's required and liaising where appropriate with other people working with the person with ABI to make it happen.

Rule of thumb

1. Ask yourself:

  • What changes need to be put in place to enable change to happen in the day to day?
  • What ongoing support is needed to maintain the changes?
  • Who else needs to be involved in this?

 

Gabrielle, a person with an ABI said:

I am still not good on my feet and I was in a wheelchair to start off. So for a long time I was just in my wheelchair trying to get up to speed with all the other bits and pieces like my communication. And then over time I started learning to walk again and slowly got the crutches going and then before I knew it I only had one crutch that I needed to use every now and then.

I think it was really good to have time in the transitional living unit before I came home - so I didn't just come home and not have a clue how to be doing everything that I hadn't done in so long.

Just to have that experience before I was coming home, in little bits, just having to do my own washing, having to dry my own clothes, wash up after myself, cook for myself.

When you first came home

It was like something that I never thought would happen because after eight months of being in hospital I was actually leaving. When I heard that I was going to be able to come home it was like I didn't know whether or not I should have believed it because it seems like something that wasn't going to happen this soon. Because even though it was eight months it seemed like not so long, although at times it seemed like it was forever.

Facebook?

Facebook has been something that has been wonderful to keep me in contact with all my friends. We are at different stages because I've been set back because of my accident and they've got busy schedules with their doing uni and finishing school and I've got a busy schedule in different ways so it's hard to catch up. But when I am able to contact them on Facebook it still gives me that little bit of contact - talking with them and seeing how they are doing.

 

 

ii) Questions

Answer the following questions:

You are working with professionals - counsellors, doctors, therapists - who do not have much experience working with people with ABI.

You make the point to them that "change happens in the day to day".

What is the significance of this?
Check your answers here


Professional such as counsellors, doctors and therapists work with many people where the work is done in the sessions and the person is capable of taking what they learn from the session into their day to day lives.

With people with acquired brain injury there may be differences. Key questions to ask are:

Does this person have the cognitive ability to gain insights into what we are working on and remember them?

Does this person have the ability to put into practice in their everyday life what is being worked on?

If the answers are no then strategies that need to be considered are:

Involving other people such as family members who can understand the insights and carry them back with the person into the day to day.

Developing specific strategies to help the person implement changes in the day to day (e.g. give them a checklist and weekly planner of things to do at specific times as a reminder for what has to be done when).