What is brain injury?
Brain injury takes many forms and has many causes and levels of severity. Any brain injury that has occurred since birth is known as an acquired brain injury (ABI). Other common forms of brain injury include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – commonly occurs due to road traffic collisions, falls, assaults, etc. TBIs are generally categorised into minor, moderate and severe injuries.
- Stroke – occurs when either the blood supply in the brain is blocked by a blood clot (ischaemic stroke) or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts (haemorrhagic stroke) causing a bleed on the brain (haemorrhage).
- Encephalitis – inflammation of the brain caused by either a viral infection or through the immune system attacking the brain in error.
- Meningitis – inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain (meninges) caused by bacterial or viral infections.
- Hypoxic/anoxic injury – caused by lack of oxygen to the brain and can happen as a result of a heart attack, near drowning, carbon monoxide poisoning, etc.
- Brain tumour – an abnormal growth of cells in the brain.
- Hydrocephalus – a build up of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain. This often occurs in babies as a result of birth defects or infection and can also occur in adults due to traumatic brain injury, stroke, brain tumour, or, on rare occasions, spontaneously, with no known cause.
There were 348,453 UK admissions to hospital with acquired brain injury in 2016-17. That is 531 admissions per 100,000 of the population. Men are 1.5 times more likely than women to be admitted for head injury. In 2016-17, there were 132,199 admissions for stroke. That is an increase of 10% since 2005-6 and equates to one every four minutes.
How long and how arduous the road to recovery is for brain injured individuals varies from case to case. Receiving the correct care throughout this journey is crucial. Evidence has shown that the type of care selected plays an important role in seeing benefits in wellbeing and health, with live-in care showing the greatest benefits.
Eximius provides outstanding live-in care to help ensure that injured individuals maintain as much independence, control, and a high-quality life. It can be a worrying and difficult time for a family after a loved one experiences a brain injury. However, at Eximius we make this time a little easier by providing a personalised and flexible approach to ensure a loved one is cared for correctly. Companions at Eximius go above and beyond to ensure clients and families are satisfied.
How our companions can help:
Managing and administering medications
Medications may be used to manage some of the effects of a brain injury. Medication to limit secondary damage may also need to be administered. All companions at Eximius are fully trained and qualified in the administration of medication. We ensure that companions understand and aware of client’s medication usage before they go into placement. This helps ensure a smooth and accurate handover. Additionally, companions are required to document the administration of medication on a secure care electronic system. This helps companions monitor intake and let a clients family know that their loved one is being looked after. This can be extremely reassuring. Companions will also ensure that repeat prescriptions are made and will collect medication from the pharmacy. This takes all pressure of the client’s family.
Often individuals with a brain injury have reduced mobility and are unable to carry out personal care themselves. Companions are Eximius can help assist clients with personal hygiene. We understand that this can be a sensitive matter and ensure that the client’s dignity is respected whilst helping with personal care.
Help them stay socially active
Our companions can help keep brain injury clients stimulated by ensuring they keep in touch with friends, remain active and attend activities they enjoy and love. This is good for a client’s confidence, mental wellbeing and helps ensure they remain connected to the local community. Companions can also escort clients on daytrips to museums, concerts and on holiday. This helps ensure that our clients experience a quality life that they deserve.
Additionally, companion’s at Eximius can play a vital role in ensuring clients carry out exercise and rehabilitation. Activity is the best way to keep a client’s body healthy, improve mental health and to avoid complications. Research has demonstrated the benefits of activity in maintaining health and function as well as recovery. Most people who have had a significant brain injury will require rehabilitation. They may need to relearn basic skills, such as walking or talking. Companion’s can ensure that daily rehabilitation takes place.
Help with domestic tasks
Companions at Eximius are required to keep a client’s house clean. All rooms are regularly cleaned and vacuumed ensuring that the upkeep of the house is kept to a high standard. This can be reassuring to a client’s family knowing that there relative is in a safe and tidy environment.
Help care for the client’s much loved pet
Companions at Eximius will happily support looking after client’s pets by feeding them and taking them on regular walks.
Eating and drinking
At Eximius companions help with the client’s food shopping and cook healthy well-balanced meals. Meal’s choices can be prepared based on the client’s desires and preferences. This ensures that the client regularly eats/drinks and receives essential vitamins. This is important in remaining healthy and keeping their immune systems strong helpful in fighting illness. Each companion is provided with an Eximius recipe book when going into a placement. The recipe book is filled with tasty healthy meals helpful in ensuring clients receive a range of delicious meals.
Individual with a brain injury can become frustrated, depressed and there mental wellbeing can deteriorate. Companions at Eximius can provide excellent emotional support and assistance during this difficult period. Our companions are carefully selected by our recruitment manager, ensuring that all companions employed by the company are of an outstanding care standard. Companions are perfectly matched to a client to ensure they share similar interests and hobbies. This enables a client to continue living an interesting and stimulating life.
Eximius like to keep companions in a placement for as long as possible to enable the client and companion to develop a relationship. This is extremely important in the companion picking up and noticing behavioural changes in the client. Seizures can develop after a brain injury and occur several months, or even years after the injury occurred. Having a companion that notices alterations in the client mood is important. Additionally, keeping a companion in a placement for a while helps maintain structure. Maintaining a structured environment is essential for providing care to someone who’s suffered a brain injury. The structure will minimize potential issues by providing the individual a consistent, dependable way of life.
An individual’s house often has to be adapted to help ensure safe movement and mobility. Companions at Eximius ensure that a client’s house is the perfect fit for them. They will contact an occupational therapist who will provide expert guidance and advice as to what equipment and adaptations are required. These are then fitted into a client’s house hassle free. Furthermore, collaborative health and social care is often essential and people with a brain injury will often need the expert professional help of a multidisciplinary team. The multidisciplinary team can include a person’s specialist, physiotherapist, and occupational therapist. Eximius play an important role in ensuring this is organised, appointments are scheduled, and doctors are attended on time. This takes all pressure of the client’s family and enables them to continue living a life knowing there loved one is receiving a high standard of care.
Reasons to choose Eximius
We believe in keeping the same carer in place for as long as possible. This means a strong bond can develop between the carer and the client. The carer can understand the clients likes and dislikes, what might trigger them and build a level of trust. This is especially important with brain injury where communication is critical. Having the same carer in place means they get to know a client’s traits and build knowledge of methods of communication and their meaning.
Knowledge and experience
We have cared for many clients with brain injury and with their case managers and health professional teams. We understand the needs and particular challenges. All our carers are trained in the specific skills to care for our clients and liaise with our clinical lead for support.
Flexibility and creativity
Because we are a small owner run company, we are able to be very fast and flexible with decision making. We can be creative around solutions for particular situations and less rigid in our approach. This has meant in the past that where other companies have struggled with housing or family dynamics, we are able to come up with innovative solutions.
Choosing the correct care is an important decision and our experienced team are here to help every step of the way. Please do not hesitate to contact us, we are more than happy to help.