Mobility difficulties

Video 14 of 25
2 min 3 sec
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Another problem that brain injury can be that people can be immobilised. Maybe they can't walk. Maybe they can't even sit up straight and they've got no sit balance as the physios would call it. We can help with this. We will help this by the physios being involved, helping people to walk. Maybe to start off with they'd put in one foot in front of the other foot and physically moving that foot. The person will then use parallel bars. Maybe they'll walk with a Zimmer frame until eventually, they can walk independently. We know that the more the brain practices something such as walking, the easier it will become. So just because straight after brain injury somebody is paralyzed, doesn't necessarily mean they're going to be paralyzed for life. We were told originally that what you couldn't achieve in the first two years after brain injury, you wouldn't achieve ever. We have proven that that's no longer true.

In fact, in 2015, at Headway Suffolks Neuro conference we had a client who hadn't walked for over 20 years but walked the first time at that conference. That's proving that if someone has the right physiotherapy and the right help, even 20 years post-injury somebody can make a recovery. The important thing is that someone's motivated and that can be a problem with somebody after a brain injury. Therefore, professionals and family need to keep encouraging that person, giving them small targets, quick wins, which they can see that they're achieving and then somebody will work hard on their rehab. We have used our Brainy Dogs scheme at Headway to help people with this. Going out for a walk sometimes can be a bit boring, but we need to do it to keep physically fit. We have found that we ask people to go out for a walk with a Brainy Dog, they would do that. Whereas just going out for a walk they may not be so keen. So it's being creative and thinking how can we keep people motivated and enthused about their recovery. It's so important that people have the right rehab at the right time.