Before his brain injury, Carl was always a fun loving person whose natural character was loud and jovial. He enjoyed life to the full. His main passion was cars and he was extremely gifted with his hands and making things. In August 2009, Carl suffered a severe headache and was taken to Bournemouth General Hospital, where he collapsed and was admitted to ITU. At that time they were unsure as to whether they could save his life. Carl remained critical for 3 three weeks in ITU and having undergone brain surgery, which proved inconclusive, he was left to see whether he would recover.
For several months, Carl was transferred between various hospitals and suffered an infection and a mild stroke, aggravating his condition further. Although semi-mobile, Carl’s mood was low, and he had little or no movement in his left hand. His brain injury had left him with a loss of short-term memory, seizures and an inability to assimilate new information. Carl became vocally louder than normal due to the aneurysm so his normal tone of speaking was perceived by others as shouting. The care staff would try to calm him down because he was too loud, but to them this behaviour meant he was being aggressive.
Carl was then admitted to Glenside in April 2010, initially for a limited period of assessment within the neuro-behavioural service.
On admission, Carl was assessed and care plans were devised. Several different behavioural rehabilitation tools were introduced, aimed at helping Carl manage his own behaviour. While Carl is able to understand the contents of his care plans and is therefore consulted and involved in the planning process, due to his poor short-term memory, he finds it difficult to remember what his care plan states. To support the therapeutic side of the rehabilitation process, Carl’s medication was also adjusted, in line with his needs.
The consistency of staff who worked with Carl and the holistic approach gave staff the tools to enable them to work safely with Carl. Carl was given responsibility for simple tasks around the ward, aimed at improving his confidence and self-esteem. The “Error-less script” introduced for the morning routine, provided the necessary prompts for Carl to understand and consistently complete each task. This helped to reduce the possibility of Carl misunderstanding communications; thus improving his self-esteem and channelling his energies. All of which has helped Carl to adopt better coping strategies for himself.
The impact of these combined therapies was huge and by February 2012, Carl was displaying more socially appropriate behaviour and becoming increasingly independent.
Today, Carl enjoys helping around the Salisbury site by delivering the post and doing odd jobs supervised by the Maintenance and Estates team, thus allowing him to use his carpentry and decorating skills. Carl goes on shopping trips, has started swimming and is waiting for an induction so he can start using the local leisure centre gym.
Dan, a Senior Rehab Assistant and key worker, said “It’s a credit to Carl what he is now able to achieve, he listens to people and reflects on his actions and how they affect others. Carl is sociable and loves interacting with others.”
Kim, Carl’s sister said of his care at Glenside, “What made the staff special was we all worked as a team, there was never a stigma to them being staff and me being a relative. I could share my views and concerns and they were followed through.”
“Carl has overcome more than was thought possible for him at one stage, due to the severity of his short term memory loss. “Without the support of everyone at Glenside, Carl would surely not be here today.”