June saw the publication of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland’s research paper entitled ‘Getting My Life Reset: Living with an Acquired Brain Injury, the Irish Experience’ compiled by the University of Limerick to explore the voice of people in Ireland with an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).
The link to the report can be found here.
ABI is an injury to the brain that has occurred after birth and is often referred to as a hidden disability as the cognitive and behavioural changes associated with ABI can be very difficult to identify.
The research focuses on the real-life experience of individuals with ABI and the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. In total, 15 people were interviewed as part of the research with brain injuries arising from traumatic injuries sustained in road traffic accidents, occupational accidents, assaults as well as injuries sustained as a consequence of stroke, haemorrhage, epilepsy and tumours. Participants ranged from 26-63 years old with the majority being in their 30’s or 40’s and many lived with brain injury for many years.
Barbara O’Connor, Chief Executive of ABI Ireland commented that “Acquired Brain Injury is a hidden phenomenon in our society. Rarely, if ever, do we get to hear the voice of the person living with ABI. This report, using a research framework, lifts the lid and lets us gain an insight into what life is like for people with a brain injury. It provides a valuable insight into the lived experience, illustrates the challenges people face with life altering, traumatic change and how they strive to live a meaningful life of their own choosing in the aftermath. It illuminates, in very clear terms, the barriers faced, the lack of services that people contend with and difficulties experienced in trying to get access to services.”
Ronan Hynes, Serious Injury Expert at Keating Connolly Sellors, welcomed the research and commented that: “The report highlights the overriding need for neuro rehabilitation services in the community as part of a multidisciplinary team approach. At the moment, there is a gap in services between acute care, rehabilitation and longer-term support services which is filled in part by families themselves and organisations such as ABI Ireland and Headway. The Government needs to fast track its plan for advancing neuro rehabilitation services across the country.”
Ronan Hynes, Litigation & Dispute Resolution Partner at Keating Connolly Sellors, represents clients who have acquired brain injuries and can be contacted at [email protected] or by telephone on +353 (0)61 414 355 or +353 (0)61 432 348.