Paulina is a person we support at Summerfield Court, one of our Headway accredited brain injury rehabilitation services in Bramley, West Yorkshire. She lives in one of the service’s transitional apartments that have been designed to empower brain injury survivors to increase their independence and take responsibility for their own home.
Paulina is an incredibly active and sociable person who is motivated to get the most out of life. She used to work full time as a support worker and was the Leeds long jump champion, before a brain injury changed her life.
Despite the challenges she faced, Paulina remained determined to overcome them and began her rehabilitation journey with Voyage Care in 2020.
A tailored rehabilitation plan
When Paulina moved to Summerfield Court, her ultimate goal was to get back to living independently. She worked with her support team to create a person-centred rehabilitation plan that focused on her goals and incorporated more structure and stability into her life. They discussed strategies she could use to aid with her short-term memory deficits which included information pages, signs, and an orientation whiteboard to help Paulina with daily tasks.
Reclaiming Paulina’s independence
One of the most important activities that Paulina was determined to tackle was shopping! Collaborating predominantly with her Occupational Therapist and Social Worker, Paulina started with completing her weekly grocery shop under supervision. This meant she was able to take control of her shopping trip but with assistance from her support worker. After just a few sessions, Paulina was able to visit her local shopping park, and nearby shops and supermarkets independently. This was a huge step, requiring lots of memory skill, ensuring that she remembered which bus to get, where to get it from and what stop to get off at.
Paulina used to rely on Google Maps to navigate her way to the shops, but now she can confidently get there unaided! To ensure Paulina feels safe when she’s out and about, she always takes her ID badge and mobile phone, so she can communicate with the service when necessary.
Now that Paulina is confident in hitting the shops, it was important for her to be comfortable in managing her money too. To help with this, Paulina has a key information sheet which she refers to when she has any questions. She is now much more independent with using and managing her money. She has her own bank card that she looks after herself, and can confidently check her balance, withdraw cash, and pay for transactions.
Improving Paulina’s memory
Paulina’s brain injury impacted her short-term memory. A key element of her rehabilitation journey involved exercising her memory and finding useful tools that would assist Paulina when she struggles to remember things.
Introducing compensatory strategies has significantly helped Paulina in her daily life. These techniques focus on modifying behaviours or environments to compensate for a deficit, weakness, or injury. In Paulina’s case, her team placed prompts in specific areas around her apartment to help aid with her memory. In times where Paulina is unsure about information and would usually ask a support worker for help, her team prompt her to refer to her notes and she’ll usually remember without even having to check.
Driven to succeed!
As part of Paulina’s rehabilitation plan, her support team discussed potential voluntary opportunities with her. Paulina was so eager to begin the process that she found a programme she wanted to join before her team had started doing the research! She is also enrolled in a beginner’s IT Course through Leeds City College. Paulina has been told by the college that she already has the knowledge and skills to succeed.
A cycling sensation!
Another important aspect of Paulina’s rehabilitation is to regain and maintain her fitness. She’s always loved cycling and discussed the idea of purchasing a bike with her support team. This was a big step, so the team suggested she gained some skills and confidence in a safe place with trained cyclists before committing to cycling on her own.
Paulina has since joined a cycling scheme, attending sessions every Saturday where she has the opportunity to cycle independently around a safe area, free of traffic and obstructions. Paulina’s trainers have been blown away by her skills and progress. Her long-term goal is to purchase her own bicycle, (along with all the safety equipment), and begin cycling independently around her local area.
A promising future
Paulina’s entire support team are stunned by her progress and resilience. She has lots planned for her future, from beginning her voluntary work to completing her IT course. She is also planning her first holiday abroad since her brain injury and hopes to be able to go a few times each year in the future.
Learn more about our brain injury rehabilitation services
If you’d like to learn more about Summerfield Court or how any of our specialist brain injury rehabilitation services can support you or a loved one, fill in our quick and easy enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch!