Acquired Brain Injury support with Unisus Care
An acquired brain injury can be devastating for the individual and equally deeply traumatic for their family. Stress in watching a beloved family member going through medical processes, rehabilitation and often, the loss of the person they once were. Your family may need to come to terms with major changes in their lives. Including the potential need for 24-hour care for their loved one.
Here at Unisus Care, we help create a home care plan to support current family routines. It’s also adaptable for those times you need some flexibility.
Throughout the North East, our professional brain injury support carers help your loved one with their everyday tasks. Ensuring they live as normal a life as possible, we help get them out of bed, bathed and dressed. Help around their home with light housework duties if required, preparing and cooking meals, laundry, ironing. We support your loved one’s well-being with opportunities for social integration wherever and whenever possible, depending on their needs. We communicate and converse with them to help redevelop their vocal functions which are key to recovery and rehabilitation. Our full range of support services are available for inclusion in your home care plan.
The most important thing for your loved one and your family, is to ensure they are all supported in their time of need. Most families contact us just before their loved one is due to be discharged. We then work together to develop your home care plan that we put into place as soon as they get home.
What is Acquired Brain Injury?
Acquired brain injury (ABI) is defined as any injury caused to the brain since birth. There are several potential causes of ABI including accidents and illness.
Some of the more typical causes of ABI are:
- traumatic brain injury
- brain tumours
- hypoxic and anoxic brain injury
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by an injury to the head that impacts on the brain inside the skull. TBI can be caused by deceptively simple slips, trips or falls, road traffic accidents, criminal assault or industrial accidents in the workplace.
The effects can range from relatively moderate trauma that can be treated successfully to devastating and life changing trauma. The range of trauma can depend on the type, location and severity of the incident and the injury caused.
A moderate TBI is defined a loss of consciousness for a short period of time. Usually between 15 minutes and six hours. It can also include a 24-hour period of post-traumatic amnesia. Moderate TBI patients may be kept in hospital overnight for observation or observed in the home. They’re usually discharged if they present no further symptoms.
Severe head injury is considered if the patient is unconscious for more than six hours or suffers post-traumatic amnesia for more than 24-hours. Patients with this level of TBI are likely to be hospitalised, comatose and in need of rehabilitation. They tend to be left with some serious physical, emotional and behavioural effects, including impaired memory function, frustration and anger.
Rehabilitation is important in all ABI cases. Designed to help the brain learn new ways of doing things, rehabilitation can help minimise the long-term impact of injury. It also helps the individual and their family cope with the issues of ongoing disabilities.
Call us on 0191 908 9384 to talk about your home care support options for you and your beloved family member suffering a traumatic brain injury.
Brain tumours are defined as ‘an abnormal mass of tissue inside the skull’. They are caused by cells dividing much more rapidly than normal.
There are two types of brain tumour:
Malignant tumours are cancerous. They often rapidly overgrow and wear away surrounding healthy brain tissue. Early diagnosis can increase survival rates as they have less chance to surround and destroy healthy brain cells and less likely to spread to other parts of the body.
Brain tumours can sometimes be secondary tumours. Spread to the brain from malignant tumours elsewhere in the body. Secondary tumours are always malignant.
Benign tumours are non-cancerous and usually grow more slowly. They don’t spread around the body.
However, even a benign tumour can cause damage to healthy brain tissue. As it grows, it puts pressure on the brain, squeezing it in the limited space inside the skull.
Medical technology makes it possible for doctors to accurately pinpoint the size and location of brain tumours through MRI and CT scans. Judgements can be made about the possibility of surgery or other treatment options designed to limit or stop its spread
Call us on 0191 908 9384 to talk about your home care support options for you and your family member recovering from a brain tumour.
An inflammation of the brain, the most common cause of encephalitis is infection. That said, in over 50% of UK cases the cause is unknown. Of the cases where the reason for encephalitis is identified, the Herpes-Simplex virus is the most likely cause.
Early diagnosis of Herpes-simplex encephalitis can be treated with an anti-viral drug. Many people with this type of encephalitis make a good recovery. However, long-term damage can still be caused to nerve cells in the brain. The effects can be quite severe.
Call us on 0191 908 9384 to talk about your short or long-term home care support options for your family member recovering from encephalitis.
Caused by a build up of fluid, hydrocephalus causes brain damage by increasing pressure inside the skull.
Our brains and spines are cushioned by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This CSF also removes waste and provides nutrition to the brain. We produce approximately 500ml of CSF per day. However, the brain can only hold about 130 ml. Normally, our body drains and recycles excess CSF through a series of valves.
If the cycle of CSF over runs for any reason, the fluid will cause the brain to swell as the pressure from fluid increases. This may be due to a blocked valve, the CSF is not being reabsorbed, or too much CSF is being produced, Without prompt treatment, permanent brain injury may result.
There are three types of hydrocephalus:
Caused by genetical birth defects, congenital hydrocephalus is usually displayed in infancy. That said, rare cases occur, when it doesn’t appear until adulthood.
The term idiopathic hydrocephalus means there is no known cause. Many cases of hydrocephalus demonstrate no evidence of blockage, over production or lack of CSF absorption. This can occur at any life cycle stage or age.
The symptoms of pressure-based hydrocephalus can take many months or years to appear. These can include:
- Changes in how you walk
- Slower reaction times and information processing
- Increased frequency in urination and loss of bladder control
Symptoms of congenital hydrocephalus can include an unusually large head, muscular spasms, weak feeding abilities, sleepiness and irritability.
Call us on 0191 908 9384 to talk about your short or long-term home care support options for your family member living with encephalitis.
Meningitis is an infection of the protective membranes lining the brain within the skull. It can be caused by bacteria, fungus or a virus. The most serious type is caused by the meningococcal bacteria, requiring rapid treatment.
Treatment of bacterial meningitis is with antibiotics. Milder forms of viral meningitis may be treated at home. Some patients will require hospital treatment. Steroids may be given to prevent brain damage and reduce swelling around the brain.
Whilst most meningitis sufferers make a full recovery, some cases can cause long term effects. Meningitis can cause loss of sight and/or hearing; coordination and balance issues, seizures and memory issues. More extreme but thankfully rare cases can lead to the need to amputate limbs
Call us on 0191 908 9384 to talk about your short or long-term home care support options for your family member living with or recovering from meningitis.
Hypoxic and Anoxic Brain Injury
When the oxygen supply to the brain is interrupted it affects the functionality of the brain. Oxygen interruption over a very short space of time can cause irreversible brain damage.
Without oxygen, the brain cannot survive. This is termed cerebral anoxia. Partial supply of oxygen at too low a level to maintain the normal functions of the brain is termed cerebral hypoxia.
Potentially, anoxic brain injury has many causes, some of which are:
- Cardiac arrest
- Drug overdose
- Electric shock
- Near drowning
- Smoke inhalation
- Severe asthma attack
- Carbon monoxide inhalation
- Very low blood pressure (shock)
- Heavy blood loss (haemorrhage)
- Weakened heart muscles after heart attack
- Inadequate supply during general anaesthetic in surgery
Call us on 0191 908 9384 to talk about your long-term home care support options for your family member coping with anoxic or hypoxic brain injury.