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Get The Facts

Accommodation options after a brain injury

Information Services
 
 

Living/Accommodation

Accommodation options after a brain injury

The effects of a brain injury can be very diverse, so a wide range of accommodation options are needed. 
Unfortunately people may end up homeless or in prison due to challenging behaviours, the difficulties of relearning life skills, and the frequent lack of support. Exploring accommodation and support options is recommended once rehabilitation begins. Appropriate options are often scarce so it pays to look ahead and plan early. Points to consider include:
  • Level and type of support needed
  • Funding available to the person
  • The family's social support network
  • Capacity of the family to look after the person in the home
  • Services available in the area.

 

Accommodation options need to be flexible, so that people can move to more independent accommodation options as they relearn life skills during the recovery process.  We will start with the high support options and work through to more independent accommodation options.

 

Nursing homes

These simply shouldn't be an option, especially for younger people with a brain injury. But nursing homes often are the last resort for people with a severe brain injury when they can't afford anything else.

 

 

Long-term residential care

Governments occasionally do fund a small number of these facilities specializing in brain injury. There are usually very long waiting lists. Slow-stream rehabilitation units also offer a measure of ongoing rehabilitation - a great idea as improvements are still possible even years after the injury.

Unfortunately these facilities are almost always in capital cities so family members may have to travel long distances to visit.

 

Supported accommodation

This normally involves houses in the community where support workers provide the required amount of support and supervision. This can vary from around-the-clock care, to a few visits each week. In many countries, governments have provided this option for people with intellectual disabilities, but usually not for people with brain injuries. Non-government agencies like Synapse receive funding to set up brain injury-specific supported accommodation. 

 

Living with friends or family

Families may choose this option because they would prefer to care for their loved one personally, or because they find the available alternatives inappropriate or expensive. Getting plenty of support is crucial in taking on this demanding role. Access as much respite care as possible to get regular breaks. Check on the government funding if you take on a caring role. 

 

A creative alternative chosen by some families is to build a detached dwelling so that their loved one can live semi-independently, but have ready access to support. Another option is to buy or rent an apartment nearby.

 

Hostels

Hostels are typically large houses divided into small bedrooms, often with on-site managers who provide differing levels of supervision which may include meals, supervision of challenging behaviours, laundry services and medication supervision. Hostels aren't suitable for people with high-level care needs such as need for nursing assistance e.g. toileting, personal care. Many hostels cater for people with a mental illness and have psychiatric support specialists visiting on a regular basis. They are rarely suitable for people with a brain injury.

 

Own home with support

There is usually limited government funding for lifestyle support e.g. support workers to assist someone to live independently. In some countries a person with a severe brain injury may be fortunate enough to afford support workers around-the-clock. In other cases it may only be a weekly visit. Sometimes, there may be free support through community agencies. If so, there will be very long waiting lists.

 

Ask your local Brain Injury Association 

Check with the Brain Injury Association in your State on what other support may be on offer. There are other services such as home-delivered meals and  community nursing which can be useful. Your Brain Injury Association will also know of all the available funding options that are available, and who to contact. 

 

 

 

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