Ho ho ho! We are thrilled to celebrate 15 years in Limerick this festive season – it’s the icing on the Christmas cake!
In fact, our Limerick service was one of the early flagship locations for Acquired Brain Injury Ireland’s unique neuro-residential homes when it opened its doors in 2003. From there it went from from strength to strength and it wasn’t long before it expanded to provide rehabilitation in the community as well.
Now as we celebrate 15 years, our local services manager Alan O’Connell who has worked with the organisation for more than a decade, remembers the first time one of his residents achieved their goals to move out and live independently.
A feeling of pride and reward
Alan said: “It’s hard to describe the feeling of pride and reward that comes when a resident reaches their goals to progress to the next stage of moving back home. As we celebrate our 15-year anniversary ahead of Christmas, it’s a lovely time to take stock and remember those incredibly special moments. A particular memory for me was in 2008 when one of the original residents was the first to move out to independent living. Ultimately our goal is to rebuild lives so that our residents need us less and less until they no longer need us at all.
“It is just brilliant to see how this man went from intensive neuro-rehabilitation 24/7 in our Limerick house down to a visit once a week from our community rehabilitation assistant. He has come full circle after his brain injury caused by a car crash from being unable to prepare his meals, manage his medication and deal with social situations. Now he maintains his apartment, cooks for himself, has completed training courses and is looking for work. Now that’s worth celebrating.”
A home from home
A ‘home from home’, our Limerick service offers long-term tailored neuro-rehabilitation and support to four residents in a house at a given time. Each resident has an individual rehabilitation plan with their own goals to relearn vital skills and maximise their independence in a safe and homely place on a 24/7 basis. While our community rehab team delivers one to one support to help brain injury survivors achieve their goals at home.
Alan continued: “Like any home, the kitchen is a real hub in our Limerick house where all the action happens! With support from our rehabilitation assistants, residents prepare their own meals and they have a rota for cooking dinner for everyone. It’s a real family affair. We’ve got plenty of enthusiastic bakers in the house and they’ve been hard at it rustling up tasty nibbles for the celebration.”
Since it began, our Limerick service has supported 14 people through residential neuro-rehabilitation and the community service supports 50 brain injury survivors at a given time. Of course we cannot celebrate 15 years in Limerick without a word from our Chief Executive Barbara O’Connell who is delighted to mark this great milestone.
Our staff makes the difference
She said: “Our Limerick service has been at the heart of rebuilding lives in the Midwest of the country. We give people their lives back. This week we are delighted to celebrate our 15-year anniversary in Limerick to mark the incredible journeys of our brain injury survivors and the tireless dedication of our staff. Neuro-rehabilitation takes time. It requires the ability to see things differently and think outside the box. Every day Alan and his highly skilled team bring their passion to brain injury survivors in Limerick and that’s what makes the difference.”
If you would like to support the work of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland this Christmas, you can make a donation at www.abiireland.ie or call us on 01-2804164.