When someone suffers a brain injury, they can be left with a range of disabilities and additional needs. Whether the disabilities are visible or non-visible, it’s important they receive ongoing specialist brain injury rehabilitation support that meets their needs and empowers them to live the life they choose!
Peter’s previous provider couldn’t accommodate his complex physical and emotional needs. This is why he moved to our specialist brain injury care home, Rugeley Road, in May 2022. His new team understood how traumatic moving was for Peter and treated him with respect and dignity as he went through this process.
At first Peter was disengaged from his team and resisted their support. He showed signs of fear and distress, and his team knew the first goal was to help Peter feel safe in his new home.
With the continuous and consistent support of a devoted and compassionate team, Peter’s needs are now managed, so he can live a happy and healthy life.
An appetite for life
Peter’s brain injury left him with a range of complex clinical needs including Dysphagia. This means he has difficulty swallowing certain foods and is vulnerable to choking. Previously, Peter didn’t receive the right support for this and was underweight when he arrived at Rugeley Road.
Passionate about improving his health and wellbeing, Peter’s team prioritised getting him back to a healthy BMI. They invested time in getting to know Peter’s food preferences and how he communicated when he was hungry.
Starting with small, frequent homecooked meals, the team noticed Peter’s appetite gradually returning – and increasing! Aromas of home cooking stirred up his senses and he eventually started enjoying larger meals and branching out his menu. Peter now eats a wide variety of foods and gives clear prompts when he’s hungry.
Peter’s new palette
Peter’s expertly trained support team have introduced his new diet in line with International Dysphagia Diet Standardised Initiative (IDDSI) guidelines. The IDDSI system groups foods and liquids based on texture and density, rating them on their potential choking risk.
Peter was assessed as needing a minced and moist diet when he arrived at Rugeley Road. But with continuous support from his expert team and a community Dietitian, Peter’s now able to eat foods classed as “easy chew”. This has opened up a new world of food choices and empowered him to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
A dedicated specialist brain injury rehabilitation support team
Determined to gain Peter’s trust and give him more confidence, Peter’s team worked with him to establish a plan that would support him to settle into his new home and build a sense of security. A key long-term goal was to encourage him to use his support equipment, such as his hoist, and start doing activities that brought him joy.
Alongside his clinical needs, Peter also requires support with mobility and personal care. Before joining Rugeley Road, he was often left in bed for long periods of time with no stimulation. He was restricted from activities and had little interaction with his staff or housemates. Peter’s team at Voyage Care quickly recognised he was presenting signs of distress and needed intensive emotional support.
Episodes of self-harm and challenging behaviour indicated that Peter was struggling emotionally, and his team understood the importance of investigating the underlying cause. After seeking input from a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist (CBT), Peter’s team used positive reassurance when he presented challenging behaviours. They committed to spending as much time with him as possible, which helped establish familiarity and trust. Staying with him throughout the day and continuously engaging with him empowered Peter to feel safe and become comfortable in the company of his new team.
Adapting our approach
Peter’s dedicated support team spent many months working closely with him, treating him with empathy and compassion. Taking time getting to know him enabled his team to understand what Peter was trying to communicate through certain behaviours.
They recognised that the complexity of Peter’s brain injury impacted him emotionally and he could change from feeling happy and engaged to distressed and upset very quickly. Peter’s team developed a ‘stop and watch’ tool, which provided an objective way of monitoring Peter’s moods, giving a “score” of green, amber or red.
Peter’s key guidelines highlight how his team should support him through different emotions and levels of engagement. As a result of this, they’ve seen a big reduction in red scores, as his team are better equipped to offer him the right support, at the right time. Plus, Peter’s now more confident in accepting support, and feels reassured that his needs are met, and his emotions respected.
A forever home
After being a full-time housemate at Rugeley Road for over a year now, Peter’s team have learnt to adapt to his complex emotional needs and tailor his rehabilitation pathway to his evolving needs. And, over the past year, lots has changed for Peter! He’s built valuable relationships with his support team, found an interest in food, and rediscovered his sense of humour.
Peter now engages in a variety of activities around the house and often goes out into the community with his support team. Boxing exercises form part of Peter’s physiotherapy, which is something he’s found great enjoyment in. And he’s made a furry friend! A neighbour’s cat has taken a real shine to Peter, and actively seeks him out when he’s in the garden. Peter can often be heard calling out the nickname he’s given the cat, which is ‘Mukka’!
Listening to music with the company of his support team has become a regular activity for Peter – his favourite band is The Eagles. Although Peter won’t recover from his brain injury, he’s found a forever home, supported by a devoted team who know him well and will continue supporting him to live his life to the fullest.
Find out more about our specialist brain injury rehabilitation support
If you’d like to learn more about our specialist brain injury rehabilitation support, and read more success stories like Peter’s, visit our website today.