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Sep
21

In our pre budget submission to government, we are calling for greater investment in case management services to reduce discharge delays, care costs and improve quality of life.

More than 13,000 people acquire brain injuries in Ireland annually but we know first hand that many families face a lone, uphill battle to access neuro-rehabilitation services. This could be alleviated by greater government investment in brain injury case management services.

Families are struggling to cope

Thousands of lives are devastated in Ireland every year by brain injuries acquired through falls, road collisions, attempted suicides and strokes resulting in a silent epidemic leaving families struggling to cope in every corner of the country. This is because there is a gaping need for investment in case management services not only to ensure brain injury survivors have access to appropriate services but also to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and delayed discharges.

Our National Services Manager Dr Karen Foley, said: “We have had brain injury case managers in the East of the country since 2006 and their effectiveness with regard to value for money is proven. Now we are calling for that case management approach to be replicated across each HSE CHO area so we can provide basic coverage for families of brain injury survivors nationwide. Currently, there are little or no services covering Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Leitrim, Limerick, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow. While services that exist for Dublin are severely under-resourced and under pressure.”

Benefits of case management are proven

An acquired brain injury case manager acts as a single point of contact for families and provides a clear pathway to support an individual’s transition from acute settings through post-acute and into community rehabilitation services. Research in the UK has shown that case management for complex cases of brain injury has enhanced quality of life for individuals. Additionally, earlier research focused on the northeast of Ireland (Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, Louth) showed acquired brain injury case management services drove net savings for our health service of €3.5m due to:

·       reduced level of support required for individuals

·       reduced admission to nursing homes and hospitals

·       reduced discharge delays from nursing homes and hospitals

We know brain injury specific case management is hugely cost effective and reduces the burden of care by avoiding expensive hospital admissions.

“I am someone families can reach out to.”

Our Case Manager for the Cavan/Monaghan region Kathleen Brennan, said: “A brain injury is a sudden onset of trauma for a family and the individual and they feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to turn. My role as case manager is exactly designed for these times of distress. I am someone families can reach out to, a point of contact that listens to their need and identifies resources applicable and available to their situation. In the early days, there is often a high level of contact. There are times when younger people are inappropriately placed in nursing homes and being able to support these younger people to return home or access services in the community is very important. It’s extremely rewarding, working with people in this way.”

“Getting my independence again.”

Leanne Matthews, 49-year-old mum of two suffered a severe stroke in 2016 that caused left-sided weakness and loss of sight in one eye. Leanne is currently placed in a nursing home in Monaghan and says she is “the youngest person in the place”. But thanks to the efforts of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland’s case management service, she is now supported to be at home for half of the week. Leanne said: “Without the help of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland’s case manager and the HSE team she works with, it would be unlikely that I would ever get home at all but have to live permanently in a nursing home. She has been my link to the community services. Now that I have found my voice and able to speak for myself again, she is supporting me to get my independence again.”

We are calling for investment of €542,000 per annum to cover eight full-time equivalent case manager roles in areas of critical need including: Sligo, Donegal, Leitrim, West Cavan (CHO 1), Galway, Roscommon, Mayo (CHO 2), Clare, Limerick, North Tipperary, East Limerick (CHO 3), Kerry, North Cork, North Lee, South Lee, West Cork (CHO 4), South Tipperary, Carlow/Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford (CHO 5), Wicklow, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin South East (CHO 6), Kildare, West Wicklow, Dublin West, Dublin South City, Dublin South West (CHO 7), Dublin North, North Central, Dublin North West (CHO 9).

Acquired Brain Injury Ireland is Ireland’s leading provider of community rehabilitation for those of working age (18-65 years) living with and recovering from an acquired brain injury.

To read our full pre budget submission or useful infographic, click here.

Ends

Sep
20
Jack Fadden Brain injury survivor Kildare Clane 5k 10k Fun Run

Join Jack on 10 November – Suitable for all levels – so no excuses!

“If I can do it, you can do it.”

This is the message from our inspirational brain injury survivor Jack Fadden from Kildare as he urges you to join him in the Clane 5k/10k Family Fun Run on November 10 in aid of our charity. The event is sponsored by T&I Fitouts and AMOSS Solicitors. At just 28 years old, Jack is training hard to achieve his goal of running the race in full for the first time.  And he wants you to join him!

Jack Fadden returns with Kildare’s biggest fun run this November

More than 650 participants took part last year (2017) and this year, it is expected to grow even bigger. The Clane 5k/10k Family Fun Run is fast becoming a firm favourite on the Irish running calendar.  It’s all about making life better for our brain injury survivors right across Ireland, with €35k raised to date.

Aim for your goals

Jack said: “Like many people after a brain injury I’ve struggled with fatigue and memory problems. With the help of my family, friends and keyworker, the Clane 5k/10k was created three years ago. Organising this event has motivated me to build up my physical strength. And it has tested my memory with planning and organising. In year one I walked 5k. In year two I walked and jogged 5k and now in year three my aim is to run 5k in full.”

Seven years ago, at just 21 years of age, Jack suffered a brain injury caused by a bleed on the brain. It left him unable to walk, talk or eat. And it happened when he was six thousand miles away from home after travelling to Thailand on his way to Australia. It was a shock when one of his friends found him unconscious in his room.

“I had to learn how to walk, talk and eat again.”

The young carpenter was rushed to hospital in Thailand. He remained there for three months before his family were able to fly him home. Then Jack spent a further three months in the Mater Hospital in Dublin relearning how to talk and eat again. Jack left hospital in a wheelchair to go for intense rehabilitation with the NRH (National Rehabilitation Hospital). Eventually he was discharged home to begin community rehabilitation with an Acquired Brain Injury Ireland keyworker, Aidan, who gave him the confidence and motivation to get his life back.

Jack said: “I made a promise to myself that I would never sit in a wheelchair again and from that day to this, I have fought every day to further myself and I refuse to give up. In the beginning I struggled to walk for more than 20 minutes and there were times when I felt like giving in. But with Aidan’s support, I refused to let it define me.”

Getting his life back

Thanks to the support of his keyworker Aidan from Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Jack feels he has regained his life. He is now back driving with confidence which is incredible. And he is studying to become a healthcare assistant so he can help other brain injury survivors. He has also joined his local running club and now runs three or four times a week.

Jack is unstoppable

Our Head of Fundraising with Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Jonathan Power,said: “Jack is an incredible inspiration to everyone who meets him. He is fabulous ambassador for our charity. Organising an event on this scale is an enormous task and Jack has a fantastic network of support around him, making it happen. Jack’s determination and commitment to help more brain injury survivors is unstoppable.

Where the money will go

“Every day in Ireland, 35 people acquire a brain injury from stroke, road traffic accidents, falls and assaults. The funds raised from this event make an enormous difference to our work. This year, everyone who takes part in the fun run will be helping to fund a new day facility serving Kildare and West Dublin. Our day services provide essential peer support and training for people affected by brain injury. This is often the final step before someone returns to independent living.”

Register now!

Clane 10k & 5k Family Fun Run 2018, 10 November, 10am-12.30pm. 5k ticket €20, 10k ticket €25. Entrants receive a technical tshirt and bespoke medal. Post-race refreshments provided courtesy of Clane GAA.

Register to take part with www.popupraces.ie or see more info on their facebook page.

Tweet #RunWithJack

Sep
19
turning the sod on new sensory garden at flagship neuro rehabilitation service Anvers

Turning the sod: (L to R) Barbara O’Connell, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Maria Bailey TD, Denis Buckley Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, Rev Gary Dowd St. Paul’s

There’s been great excitement this week as we ‘turned the sod’  to mark the beginning of new works to benefit more brain injury survivors attending our neuro-rehabilitation services in Glenageary, County Dublin.

Exciting new plans

Our plan is to develop a unique sensory garden and growing area  thanks to the fundraising efforts of our neighbours, St Paul’s Church. We were joined by local public representatives Maria Bailey, TD and Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD to help us celebrate the good news at our flagship residential unit on Adelaide Road in Glenageary, founded in 2000.

Thank you

Thanks to money being raised by the parishioners of St. Paul’s, a new sensory garden area will allow our clients affected by brain injury to work on practical outdoor skills and improve memory, planning and organisational skills.

At the heart of our community

Barbara O’Connell, Chief Executive with Acquired Brain Injury Ireland said: “Today’s groundbreaking ceremony would not be possible without the incredible support of our funders. We extend our sincere thanks to the fundraising efforts of St Paul’s Church here in Glenageary. We are delighted to be the beneficiaries of their generosity in such a significant year as the Church celebrates its 150th anniversary. Community has always been at the heart of everything we do in Acquired Brain Injury Ireland and this partnership will change the lives of people living here and help them become even more integrated into the Glenageary community.”

The scale of brain injury in Ireland

Every year in Ireland an estimated 13,000 people acquire a brain injury resulting in life-altering, dramatic change. These injuries we see often happen suddenly and can be traumatic, caused by road traffic accidents, stroke, assaults, falls, concussion and viral infections like meningitis. Early access to personalised neuro-rehabilitation services like ours, is vital to ensure brain injury survivors can start to rebuild their functional, behavioural or cognitive skills after they leave hospital.

“Nobody ever thinks a brain injury will happen to them.”

Barbara continued: “Nobody ever thinks a brain injury will happen to them – yet it happens to 35 people in this country every day. Too often people we see with brain injuries are young and they are left in inappropriate settings such as nursing homes, community hospitals or at home where families are unable to cope. That’s exactly what happened to my brother, Peter. After two serious road accidents by the age of 42, my brother Peter suffered two brain injuries which meant he was no longer able to live independently. To see him misplaced in a nursing home at such a young age, was devastating and this drove me, with the support of my family, to set up an organisation to meet Peter’s needs and those with stories like his known now as Acquired Brain Injury Ireland.”

Thanks again to everyone for their support with this great project and we’ll keep you updated on its progress.

Sep
14

Go, Go, Girl Power!

by Caroline Cullen in News Comments: 0

There’s a phrase that says: a strong woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink. Carney Ladies Mini Marathon Sligo fundraising

That sounds exactly like the Carney Ladies Mini Marathon team in Sligo who topped the €10k mark this year with their incredible fundraising efforts for our charity.

Talk about Girl Power – this group’s energy knows no bounds and the latest cheque marks the 23rd year of their incredible fundraising work for local charities.

Where the money goes

Funds raised will go to support our local day resource centre in Sligo for another year which not only benefits local brain injury survivors in the county, but also those from Leitrim and West Cavan.

Thank you

Teresa O’Boyle, our  Local Services Manager in Sligo, said: “We cannot thank the Carney Ladies enough for their generous donation which will help more brain injury survivors rebuild their lives. Our neuro-rehabilitation and support services offer a vital lifeline to help people rebuild their lives. Having a brain injury can be very isolating. Our day resource centre here in Sligo provides vital peer support where our clients can meet other people in similar situations and teach them new skills.”

The Carney Ladies raised funds for our charity through a series of events organised in the lead up to the mini-marathon in addition to sponsorship. Their fundraisers included supermarket bag packs, pub quizzes, bingo nights, treasure hunts, a raffle and a cake sale.

ENDS

Sep
14

What’s on this autumn

by Caroline Cullen in News Comments: 0

It’s another busy autumn and we have lots of news to share with you. There’s so much happening in communities around the country so whether your interest lies in culture or sport, there’s something for everyone.

What’s on in Kilkenny

Next Thursday, 20th September, our talented Kilkenny artist Rob Norwood will showcase his work in a very Acquired Brain Injury Client Rob Norwood resident in our Waterford service to host an art exhibition in Butler House in Kilkenny special exhibition in Butler House on Patrick Street in Kilkenny. Rob, 34, is a resident in our Waterford neuro-rehabilitation service and he acquired a brain injury after he was knocked down by a car at just 8 years old. An inspiration to all who meet him, Rob hopes his paintings will help bring positive awareness and understanding of brain injuries.

What’s on in Louth

On Saturday 22nd September, the St. Peter’s Choir is singing out loud for brain injury along with special guests flown in from Germany,  the  Cantus Wirena. The concert starts at 8pm in St. Peter’s Church in West Drogheda. Tickets are €20. Proceeds from the night are going towards our local service in“Lisrath” towards a wheelchair accessible vehicle for our residents.  For more info see our events page or enjoy this article from Drogheda Life.

What’s on in Kildare

10 November join us and #RunWithJack in the Clane 5k/10k Family Fun Run. This fast growing running event attracted more than 650 participants last year, organised by Jack Fadden, 28, who suffered a brain injury at just 21 years of age after a brain bleed. This event is suitable for all levels. Run, walk, roll or skip along. Registrations are open now!

All of these events are in aid of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland.

Sep
05

Rathfarnham’s Grange Golf Club scored a hole-in-one for our brain injury survivors! After hosting their annual Captains’ Charity Golf Day, the club raised an incredible €8,200 for our charity.

More than 200 members took part in the charity golf event. For many, it had extra special meaning ever since one of their own members suffered a brain injury last year.

A Great Captain’s Day

Captains Anne Kelly & Jim Hegarty said: “The 2018 Captain Day was a huge success this year. Thanks to a great summer, the course was in spectacular condition and all of our members came out Rathfarnham Grange Golf Club Captains present a cheque to Acquired Brain Injury Ireland CEO Barbara O'Connell and Jonathan Power Head of Fundraising. The charity event was hosted in aid of ABII after one of their own members suffered a brain injury. to support a fabulous organisation. Acquired Brain Injury Ireland has a special meaning to us. Just last year, one of our members survived a brain injury. We were delighted to have Acquired Brain Injury Ireland as our chosen charity for this event and to raise funds so more brain injury survivors can get the support they need to get back to their lives and their interests.”

In 2017, life changed for Ger Ryan when her husband Ray was suddenly struck by a brain aneurysm. A keen golfer, Ray has undergone rehabilitation and is back at the club.

Invaluable support

Ger Ryan said: “Following my husband’s brain injury, the community within Grange Golf Club really rallied around both of us which has been a huge support in his recovery. The club itself is a big family and this support was invaluable to me and my husband.”

Here at Acquired Brain Injury Ireland we are so grateful to everyone who took part in this event and thanks to the extremely generous donations from Grange Golf Club, we can help even more people get back to life in the community.

And we’re not one bit surprised this golf event exceeded all expectations…

…because the Grange Golf Club is home to former Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley after all!

 

 

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