Failure to manage high blood pressure in pregnancy leads to cerebral palsy. We obtained an early admission of liability from the Defendant Trust for a
Living with a brain injury brings many challenges, but there are many therapies that can improve function, aid independence, and provide some fun and relaxation.
As part of any brain injury claim, we appoint experts to assess and recommend individual therapy needs for our clients, which may change throughout their lives, and claim the costs as part of the compensation award.
Types of therapy
The type of therapies required will vary dependent on each client’s needs, now and in to the future, but a brain injury claim will often include the cost of the following types of therapy or neurorehabilitation.
Physiotherapy comes in many forms, but essentially involves physical movement of the body and limbs to bring about an improvement in function, comfort and wellbeing. Physical therapy after a brain injury might focus on improving posture, release of painful contractures of the muscles, or increasing strength and range of movement. It can also provide an opportunity for fun and relaxation, especially for children when toys and games can be incorporated to encourage participation.
Our clients can benefit from a wide range of different types of physical therapy, funded on a private basis as part of their brain injury compensation package. The cost of regular home visits from a therapist specialising in neurological injuries, attendance at specialist conductive education or neurorehabilitation centres such as The Pace Centre (www.thepacecentre.org) or Rainbow Hub (www.rainbowhub.org), home therapy rooms fully equipped with physiotherapy aids, and intensive therapy following surgery, can all be claimed as part of a brain injury compensation claim.
Speech and Language Therapy
A brain injury can often affect a person’s ability to speak or communicate, or understand words and sounds that they hear. When a brain injury is severe, the bulbar muscles of the throat can be affected, causing problems with swallowing food, drink and saliva.
Specialist speech and language therapy can help overcome some of these difficulties, or can assist in finding alternative methods of communication through the use of aids and technology
Again, the costs of this type of therapy can be claimed as part of a brain injury compensation package, allowing access to the best private therapists without the long waiting lists usually encountered in state funded services.
Occupational therapy after a brain injury is about finding ways to enhance independence and improve access and enjoyment to daily activities of living.
Occupational therapists can help individuals structure and practise everyday tasks, such as brushing teeth or preparing a meal, and also recommend aids and equipment that can make these things easier. They can also assist someone to start or return to a form of employment where possible, or to access recreational or leisure pursuits in the community with greater ease.
We involve expert occupational therapists to meet our clients and complete a specialist assessment of their needs, with recommendations for support, equipment and therapies that can be claimed as part of the compensation award.
Hydrotherapy (or Aquatic Therapy)
Hydrotherapy is a form of physical therapy that takes place in warm water, usually in purpose built hydrotherapy pools.
Having the freedom to move around in warm water, without needing to be strapped in to a wheelchair or standing frame, can be hugely beneficial for individuals living with cerebral palsy or other motor disorders. It allows joints and muscles to relax, easing contractures and painful spasms, and can enhance and help to maintain the benefits of physical therapy.
However, public hydrotherapy pools are few and far between, and the practicalities of travelling to a pool can be difficult. For many of our most physically disabled clients, we have claimed the costs of having their own hydrotherapy pools built at home, either in an extension to their property, or within a separate purpose-built outbuilding.
Home pools allow our clients to access this form of therapy whenever they wish, on a regular, even daily basis, as part of their therapy routine but also as a great way to exercise and have some fun.
Psychotherapy and Counselling
Coming to terms with having a disability, or supporting and caring for someone with a disability, can have a huge impact on a person’s mental health. Children born with a brain injury may become frustrated as they grow older and notice a difference between themselves and their peers. Their parents may have experienced trauma at the birth and develop symptoms of depression, anxiety or even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An adult with a brain injury acquired later in life may grieve for the life they once had and develop feelings of depression or hopelessness for the future.
In all of our clients’ cases, we will consider the impact of the brain injury on their mental health and involve expert psychologists or psychiatrists where appropriate to provide an assessment, diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan that can then be funded as part of the compensation claim.
We can also signpost our clients to other sources of support, such as charities or other specialist support groups.
Music and Art Therapy
Music therapy and art therapy are becoming increasingly popular in brain injury rehabilitation. Both forms of therapy have been found encourage the brain to ‘re-wire’ and build new connections that help to repair itself after an injury. It also allows freedom of expression for people with neurological disabilities who may have communication difficulties, and provide another way to relax, have fun, and break down social barriers.
Where a client would benefit from these types of therapy, the costs of accessing it privately can be claimed as compensation.
Claiming the costs of past therapy
There may be other types of specialist therapies that our clients have already found beneficial in the past, and usually it is possible to recover the past costs of these, along with the already incurred costs of the more common therapies listed above where they have been paid for privately.
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