Brain injuries (including stroke and other neurological conditions) strike people of all ages, from all walks of life and in a variety of situations. Due to enhanced knowledge and treatment, more people are surviving than ever before making brain injury the fastest growing cause of disability among young people in the UK.
Here are the facts…
Between 2013 and 2014…
Over 300K people attended hospital as a result of an acquired brain injury in the UK.
Every 90 seconds, a person is admitted to hospital in the UK with an acquired brain injury.
There has been a 10% increase in hospital admissions resulting from acquired brain injury.
Over 4,000 people in Oxfordshire alone were hospitalized due to an acquired brain injury.
Between 2013 and 2014…
Did you know?
of all brain injuries are a result of road traffic accidents.
of brain injuries in children are caused by cycling accidents.
less likely to suffer server head injury if wearing a helmet.
Accidents and other traumatic events are not the only cause of brain injuries. Some others include:
Physiological problems, such as:
- Cardiac Arrest
- Hypoglycaemic Coma Epilepsy
- Drug Overdose
Post-viral infections from conditions such as:
The Hidden Disability
The human mind is one of the most complex things in the universe. When it is damaged, the effects can often be subtle, but nonetheless profound. Because of this, brain injury and the associated difficulties with behavioural and cognitive skills are often misunderstood.
Factors of life that can be impacted by brain injury include:
Concentration & Memory
Mobility & Speech
Behavioural & Relationship
Energy & Emotions
However, if damage is sever, brain damage can result in various physical and debilitating conditions. Effects on memory and personality can be so great that the patient may become a completely different person to who they were prior to acquiring their condition.
“Headway Oxfordshire has been fantastic, as it enables us to talk and hear from other people with brain injuries who then become good friends. My problems can feel very stressy; however, Emma (CSW) has been brilliant. She suggested and organised voluntary work in a library and this has become great. It feels so good that I can enjoy doing something that I used to do before my brain injury.”
— Judi, Service User
Brain Injury can be the cause of problems beyond physical difficulties. Trouble with speech and behaviour can often lead to survivors becoming isolated and lonely. This loneliness can lead to further emotional and psychological suffering, including low self-esteem, anxiety, and feeling like they are a burden.
“It takes me longer to process information so I have sometimes have to ask people to explain it again. If people don’t know me they can get annoyed by this.”
— Andy, Service User
Headway Oxfordshire works to reduce misunderstanding and discrimination of those with brain injury by working hard to spread awareness of brain injury’s effects and the troubles it can cause those affected.
We hope to make the lives of those affected by brain injury easier and more fulfilling.
Headway has had its own statement regarding rehabilitation since the late 1980’s:
“Rehabilitation is a process of change through which a brain injured person goes, seeking to regain former skills and to compensate for skills lost.
Its aim is always to achieve the optimum levels of physical, cognitive and social competence followed by integration into the most suitable environment.”
Rehabilitation has two stages, the first being the formal intervention to improve the individual, and the second stage is when the family and carers work to maintain that improvement. Research suggests that patients who make the best recovery are those whose family is actively involved, and can maintain this informal rehabilitation at home.
The greatest visible progress occurs in the first 6 months, after which improvement is often more subtle and less obvious. But it is important to bear in mind that progress does not stop after 2 years, as has been suggested in the past. Rather people continue to improve even 5, 10 or more years after a head injury.
To find out more about how Headway Oxfordshire can help…