Before his stroke, Adam* was an active member of the community and would participate in several daily activities. Despite his brain injury, staff at The Vines have supported Adam to ensure that he can stay as active as he wishes. Adam remains physically active by attending a weekly swimming session specialised in neuro-rehabilitation, where he has made vast progress. This includes performing stretching exercises against the pool wall to swimming independently to the other ends of the pool.
Adam also attends a local café club for people with similar challenges and conditions. He has formed close friendships with fellow attendees and spends a lot of time speaking to a fellow structural engineer from Scotland. Adam always leaves these visits in a positive mood and tells staff ‘how nice those people are’.
Since playing the drums as a child, Adam’s passion has been fostered with weekly music therapy sessions. Adam plays the drums each week and is always matching the beat and rhythm of the instructor. Adam has also recently mastered ‘Penny Lane’ by The Beatles and is especially pleased with himself. Adam spends much of his time away from the drums practicing on tables and his lap to any tune that is playing or in his head.
Adam continues to play the drums at the local Headway Centre. Headway is a specialised charity that supports individuals to return to an active life, following a brain injury. Adam spends one day a week at Headway and engages with additional rehabilitation activities and his beloved drums. Adam is again an active member of the community, as he was prior to his brain injury and will continue to be so with the support of the dedicated team at The Vines.
Carl* first came to The Vines in 2001, following a heart attack that left him with a hypoxic brain injury. Carl had since struggled to communicate to staff and residents, and would only speak a handful of words a day.
Over the last year, Carl has been spending Monday afternoons at a café club for individuals with similar needs and conditions. Carl’s confidence has increased and he has been building relationships with other attendees, even greeting them each week. Recently, a 50’s tribute singer visited the café club and encouraged Carl to join her in singing ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’. Carl walked to the front of the café and began to sing the words to the song in a quiet volume. As the song progressed, Carl got louder and louder, as did the smile on his face. Both staff and Carl were thrilled with his performance and the progress that he has made. Carl is looking forward to the tribute singer coming back to the café club, so he can sing another song with her again.
At The Vines, we work to establish short achievable goals based on the individuals’ rehabilitation and interests. Before coming to The Vines, Henry* travelled and lived around the world as part of his job. When our cooking club called Theme Night Thursday’s was introduced, Henry showed a clear interest and passion for other cultures.
Henry had previously been reserved and keen to spend time in his bedroom. Henry’s monthly goal quickly became to help chop the vegetables for our theme night, with the aim that this would help improve his fine motor skills as part of his neuro-rehabilitation. Henry was at first supported to help chop vegetables, including carrots, mushrooms and peppers for our Chinese stir-fry. Since then, Henry has progressed to not only chopping the vegetables for our theme night but also adding them to the pot and monitoring them as they cook.
Henry has shown a clear enjoyment in this and has been proud of his medals displayed on our celebration wall when he has met his monthly goals. In the coming weeks, Henry will be organising and leading our German Theme Night Thursday, which he is helping to organise based on him spending much of his childhood in the country. Henry’s enjoyment for the Theme night Thursday’s is apparent to everyone at The Vines and his smile on the day each week is infectious.
Rachael* has struggled with her mobility and issues with her hip since first coming to The Vines. This at times makes it difficult for Rachael to move around our home and has caused her fitness levels to decline. To help improve this, a specialist fitness instructor trained in physical rehabilitation and fitness following brain injuries, has been visiting Rachael once a week.
Rachael began by struggling to pull the resistant bands and throw a ball to fellow residents. After several sessions, Rachael is now able to throw the ball with ease and celebrates the end of each session with a dance to her favourite Elvis Presley song. Rachael’s progress has been apparent to all staff and has earned her several medals on our celebration wall for achieving her goals. Rachael tells staff that the fitness sessions are ‘lovely’ and that she very much enjoys the progress she has been making.
*Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality.