Specialist Neurorehabilitation Helps Mum Alisha get Life Back on Track
Alisha experienced a brain injury in May 2015 and was referred to Graham Anderson House (GAH), our specialist hospital for people with a brain injury in Glasgow, as she was continuing to demonstrate difficulties with severe memory loss, disrupted sleep pattern, poor self care, agoraphobia and difficulties engaging with, and parenting, her son.
She also had emotional distress and fluctuating moods. It was felt at this point that Alisha was not yet ready for a period of inpatient rehabilitation so GAH’s Psychologist and Occupational Therapist put strategies in place both at home and at the centre to implement structure to Alisha’s day by providing her daily tasks and achievements and to help orientate her by using a whiteboard, as she was often confused about what had happened to cause her brain injury. The staff team also did all they could to support her family.
Alisha struggles to recall this period but her mum said:
“This support was invaluable. They gave us reassurance and helped us understand about brain injury. They helped us put strategies in place which made things easier.”
As Alisha’s confidence grew and her anxiety became more manageable, she felt able to attend GAH. Initially Alisha was there as a day patient, gradually building up to overnight stays. During this period Alisha had input from the full clinical team for assessment and rehabilitation of her needs.
Some of her interventions included creating a routine and structure to increase her independence with all activities of daily living. Alisha said that she found “using my diary to help my memory” and “doing cooking, which helped my confidence and helped build a routine” particularly useful.
Alisha moved into her own flat at Eastfields, an extension of GAH. Here she had the responsibility to shop, prepare and cook her own meals. There was emphasis on going out into the community regularly and building on ways in which she could occupy her time meaningfully, both within Eastfields but also at home during weekends when she planned activities she could do with her son.
After Alisha was discharged, GAH’s Occupational Therapist continued to offer on-going input at home. She helped Alisha explore more activities within the local area including swimming. They looked at weekly structure and routines and the use of the whiteboard for Alisha to come up with daily tasks. Fatigue management education and strategies were put in place in relation to her parenting.
She has now been discharged from GAH’s Outreach Service. The team prepared extensive notes for the community team taking on Alisha’s rehabilitation to ensure a smooth transition, and a referral has been made to Alisha’s local community.
Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust