Memorandum by Maivor De Young (H 57)
Having worked and been involved with head injured
people for a long time I feel compelled to write and share with
you my findings. I have just completed a degree in psychology
and in my research project, I conducted several interviews with
people, who have suffered traumatic head injuries. The research
found that their Quality of Life is much lower than people, who
have had no head injury. Brain injured people found that GPs did
not understand or had knowledge of their difficulties and very
often did not care. Having worked at a brain injury rehabilitation
unit for ten weeks I found that there is definitely not enough
rehabilitation services for brain injured people. It was upsetting
to see peoples' disappointment, when they were told that the waiting
list for a place was long and it would be difficult to give a
precise time for admission. Can you imagine what it would be like
waking up every day and having no memory of what had happened
and not knowing what was going on. No sense of identity/self?
Having to start from the beginning again like a child. As one
patient put it: "I don't know who I amthere are two
personsone before the accident and one after the accidentand
they don't seem to be the same person and they don't integrate
with each other". These people need a lot of help and understanding.
1. More rehabilitation services are definitely
2. We have to remember that every injury
3. It is very much a hidden "disability".
4. General practitioners need to have more
knowledge of what various problems, other illnesses and the difficulties
that a head injured person can experience after hospital and rehabilitation
services are finished.
5. It is important that rehabilitation takes
place immediately the patient is well enough to benefit from the
service. It could be too late to address problems if too long
a time has elapsed between injury and rehabilitation programme.
6. More awareness in the society about head
injuries. More attention and more education in schools about the
brain and how important this organ is to us and what happens if
it is not looked after properly.
7. Every person has the right to live and
lead a life that will given them the quality of life they expect.
8. Continue a support service after the
rehabilitation is finished to both the injured and the relatives
9. Peoples' lives could be improved and
helped if rehabilitation services were established in more places.
The list of requirements is endless, but I feel
that going on about it is not going to help the issue.
Please, let me know if you would like more information
and help from me. I feel it is a very worthwhile issue you are
attending to and it could save money for the health sector in
the future if more attention is paid to the problem right from