Specialist Stroke, Head or Brain Injury and Challenging Behaviour Care
Living with the after-effects of a stroke, a brain injury or living with challenging behaviour which can be as a result of both of these is extremely difficult. It may be that your home isn’t set up to be able to care for someone in this situation safely and effectively, or that it is just too much for someone to be cared for at home by a loved one, family member and, or carers. Bristol Care Homes offers Stroke, Head or Brain Injury and Challenging Behaviour Specialist Care and we have team members who are qualified to care for and support people living with these symptoms or conditions.
What is a Stroke?
A stroke can be a life-threatening condition that happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off or minimised. A stroke can happen at any age, although the majority of people who suffer a stroke are ages 60 and above. There are, however, 10% of strokes that occur in the under 45’s which includes infants, young children, and young adults.
There are 3 types of stroke:
- ischemic stroke – caused by a blocked artery
- hemorrhagic stroke – caused by a leaking or bursting of a blood vessel
- transient ischemic attack (TIA) – caused by a temporary break in the flow of blood to the brain
A TIA is more likely to not cause lasting after-effects and often a complete and full recovery can be made. A TIA tends to be described as a warning stroke, or a mini-stroke.
A mini-stroke can last anything from just a few minutes up to 24 hours. A TIA should still be treated urgently as it is often a warning sign of the potential of a full stroke which can happen at any time.
Urgent treatment for a stroke is crucial and if the right care is given it often minimises the potential of long term damage to a person’s physical and mental wellbeing.
What is the treatment for a Stroke?
The treatment for a stroke will depend on the type of stroke experienced and will also include which part of the brain was affected, what caused it and how extensive the stroke was.
Strokes are normally treated with medication to prevent and diffuse any blood clots, reduce blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels as these can be the core reasons for a stroke.
In some cases, blood clots will be removed via surgery and if there is swelling to the brain surgery may also be necessary to reduce the risk of further bleeding and complications, all of which can be very serious.
Why would you suffer from a Stroke?
Our brains need oxygen and nutrients which are provided by our blood to function effectively and as they should do. If there is a restriction in blood flow or the blood stops completely then brain cells will quickly start to die. This can lead to brain damage, physical disability and sometimes death.
Certain conditions can increase the risks of having a stroke and these include:
- high blood pressure (hypertension)
- high cholesterol
- irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation)
There are, however, times when a stroke will occur and there is no apparent reason or any reason given in the diagnosis.
What are the symptoms of a Stroke?
There are 5 main warning signs of a stroke all of which are normally sudden:
- weakness or numbness down one side of the body
- speech difficulty or confusion
- difficulty seeing in one or both eyes, blurred vision.
- dizziness, trouble walking or lack of balance and coordination
- severe headache with no known cause
You can remember the main symptoms of a stroke using the word FAST:
- Face – the face can drop on one side, the person may not be able to smile or their eye, eyes or mouth may have dropped
- Arms – the person may not be able to lift one or both arms, or they may not be able to hold them in the air due to weakness or numbness
- Speech – speech may be slurred or sentences confused and garbled. There are times when a person may not be able to talk at all, even if they are awake. They may also have problems understanding you and seem confused
- Time – if you see any of these signs you should dial 999 immediately, it is better to be safe than sorry and get a medical expert to look someone over and give them treatment quickly as this is very important when someone has suffered a stroke
As well as physical after effects, there are also psychological problems that can affect people after a stroke:
- depression – many people can experience highly charged emotions including intense crying, the feeling of hopelessness and can withdraw from social contact with others
- anxiety – many people can experience uncontrolled feelings of fear and anxiety, diagnosed as anxiety attacks
- feelings of anger, frustration and bewilderment are also very common
Recovery after a stroke can take a long time and often people won’t fully recover physically and, or psychologically. As well as physio regular psychological assessments are needed to check for any emotional problems.
For most people, medication and psychological therapies, including counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) will help their recovery after a stroke.
What are the tests to diagnose a Stroke?
Strokes are diagnosed using both physical and mental tests as well as images of the brain after a brain scan.
Stroke tests include:
- Blood test to check cholesterol and blood sugar levels
- Pulse checks to identify an irregular heartbeat
- Blood pressure assessments
- Swallow test – if a person is unable to swallow properly, there is a risk that food and drink may get into the windpipe and lungs, which can lead to chest infections such as pneumonia. This is called aspiration and can happen as a result of a stroke.
- A brain scan within an hour of a stroke to determine what the stroke has been caused by
A brain scan can identify:
- diagnoses the type of stroke so treatment can be given (blocked artery – ischaemic stroke, burst blood vessel’s – haemorrhagic stroke)
- diagnoses which part of the brain has been affected
- diagnoses how severe the stroke is
An early brain scan will ensure if there is a blood clot that the person benefits from the medication needed to clear it (thrombolysis) and or surgery.
The 2 main types of scan used to assess a suspected stroke are:
- CT scan
- MRI scan
Heart and blood vessel tests are normally also done later as part of follow up tests which help to identify the cause of a stroke.
Strokes are usually treated with medication. This includes medicines to prevent and dissolve blood clots, reduce blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels.
In some cases, procedures may be required to remove blood clots. Surgery may also be required to treat brain swelling and reduce the risk of further bleeding if this was the cause of your stroke.
Care after the diagnosis of a Stroke
Treatment depends on the type of stroke you have, including which part of the brain was affected and what caused it.
Fortunately, some damaged brain cells will repair and regenerate and this is referred to as neurogenesis. The quickest part of recovery after a stroke occurs in the first 3 to 4 months. The recovery after this time will still continue, however, it tends to be slower and requires ongoing medication, physio and psychological support. Rehabilitation can be ongoing and will continue well into the first and subsequent years.
Bristol Care homes have specialist nurses who are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, who are trained and have the experience of caring for people after a stroke. This can be in the first couple of months after a stroke to aid their initial recovery with medication, physio and physiological support, or for longer-term care which can be either respite for a carer, or full-time care in one of our homes located in and around Bristol.
Specialist Treatments for a Stroke
The damage to brain cells following a stroke can lead to widespread and long-lasting physical and psychological problems. Some people recover quickly, and fully, however, there are many people who will need long-term care and rehabilitation and some people who may never fully recover, or be able to look after themselves again.
The process of rehabilitation depends on the symptoms and the severity of the stroke.
Our Bristol Care Home teams support the care and rehabilitation after a stroke. We will work alongside their team of specialists to formulate an ongoing and adaptive care plan which includes; physiotherapists, psychologists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, dietitians, and specialist nurses and doctors.
We involve the individual in their care and rehabilitation plans and we encourage them to set themselves goals and steps to aim for in their recovery, regularly celebrating their successes with them and their loved ones.
What are the main aims of Bristol Care Homes Specialist Stroke care?
The main aim of specialist stroke care is to support an individual to recover and offer them qualified rehabilitation services so they can be as independent as possible both physically and mentally. Bristol Care Homes have specialist Stroke Nursing homes based in and around Bristol. Our aim is to support individuals and their families to live a full, happy and independent life. We offer stroke respite care which gives carers a break from their 24-hour caring duties. Full-time care on a short or long term basis to either aid the first 3-4 months recovery after a stroke, or long term care if a person needs more support with day to day living.
You can find support and advice about strokes and the care needed from the Stroke Association.
What are the main aims of Bristol Care Homes Specialist Head and Brain Injury Care?
Our specialist head and brain injury care are very much focused on recovery, stimulation, regaining independence and supporting individuals to learn skills again. Our highly qualified nurses and caring team work together to ensure every individual we care for feels secure, loved and is given sympathetic, supportive and progressive care where needed. We work alongside our resident’s specialists, their GP and families and we regularly review every resident’s care plan to ensure we are providing the best and optimum care possible.
What are the main aims of Bristol Care Homes Specialist Challenging Behaviour Care?
Our specialist challenging behaviour care is often a lifeline to families who may no longer be able to care for a loved one on a full-time basis or we can provide respite care to give them a break from their 24-hour caring responsibilities.
Our team is caring and passionate about every one of our residents and we get to know them to ensure we can support and help them when they need it. We understand the importance of knowing an individual’s triggers and this helps to minimise destressing outbursts in behaviour from them. We get to know the situations that make them feel anxious, in pain or if they react when they are bored, and this enables us to be preemptive in our care. Our team use calming distraction methods if they are needed and this often minimises or stops the behaviour, as well as reducing the feelings of anxiousness for them. When needed our team will intervene calmly and resolve situations so the person doesn’t feel bad after which can often result in a cycle of behaviour and can be very distressing.
About Bristol Care Homes
We are an independently owned group of 4 high-quality nursing homes based in Bristol. Our dedicated nursing, caring and support teams provide quality and caring specialist care services every day. Our founding vision is to provide excellence in all aspects of care for our residents and to create a home from home feel for everyone.
We understand that moving into a care home can be an emotional time for everyone. That’s why we offer support for family members and our residents and you can call on our teams for help and advice at any time.
Family and friends are always welcome in all of our homes. They are their home, and visitors can come day or night, and for as long as they want.
Our service leads the way in care home provision and this shows in our Care Quality Commission Ratings which are good and outstanding.
Each of our nursing homes has its own kitchen with our own highly skilled chefs that plan and create delicious and nutritious home-cooked meals and snacks for our residents every day.
There are communal lounges and dining areas within all of our Nursing Homes and each home is decorated in light and bright colours giving the feeling of openness and calmness. Each of our homes has a warm, friendly, family, community feel and our teams love spending time with our residents, caring for them. Whether you want to spend time with friends, or on your own, there are lounges of all sizes available for you. Each of our homes has been designed with family and nursing care in mind, our hallways are wide so suitable for wheelchairs and there are handrails around the home for support when it’s needed. each bedroom is spacious and airy with a telephone connection, TV point and internet access so residents can keep in touch with their family and have their own time if they want it.
We offer many features which help people to maintain a high level of fulfilment and independence in their lives including:
- Beautiful gardens with green space, trees and flowers
- Environmentally designed buildings with 24/7 air circulation to always keeping the atmosphere fresh and airy
- Spacious rooms with increased ceiling height giving the feeling of space and openness
- Wide corridors for easy access
- Television, DVD Player and direct line telephones in every room
- Internet access in every resident’s room
- Customised high-quality wheelchairs available when needed
- State of the art ensuite baths and walk-in showers to support independence
- Minibus services with a regular schedule of trips
- Regular maintenance and replacement cycles of new carpets and decoration
- Chefs producing high-quality, diverse, tasty and nutritious meals and snacks
- A programme of interesting and stimulating social activities for all residents
- Pet therapy
- Warm, friendly and caring staff who get to know each resident and take time with them every day to ensure they are happy and fulfilled
- Communal areas where residents love to be together and socialise
- Specialist care including dementia care
- Nurses on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
Our Nursing Homes
Field House in Horfield
Field House is a modern, purpose-built property set at the end of a private lane in Horfield. It is within easy access to the A38 and the M4/M5 interchange. Field House has a bright facade to the front with plenty of windows and patio doors to the ground floor making it feel light and airy inside. It is situated in front of a quiet field and there is a primary school nearby. The residents often say they enjoy hearing the lovely sound of the children playing in the background when they are sat outside.
Field House is in close proximity to Gloucester Road and the Mall at Cribbs Causeway is also just a 10-minute drive away from the home.
It has 55 bedrooms, including 2 shared rooms which are all decorated in fresh and bright colours, with a contemporary feel. Every room has state of the art en-suite facilities and as in all our nursing homes, residents are encouraged to bring their own personal belongings to make their room feel homely and as their own.
Beech House in Thornbury
Beech House is a modern and impressive purpose-built home in a small, select and quiet residential area on the land formerly occupied by Thornbury Hospital. Beech House is situated in the heart of the community in Thornbury, Bristol, South Gloucestershire and is hidden away at the end of a cul-de-sac. It is only a 5-minute drive to the charming market town’s high street which is home to many local independent shops and amenities.
Beech House’s large impressive facade has been built with a regal Georgian style property in mind and it first opened its doors in 2000. The property has lots of large windows on every side of the property giving it a light and airy feel inside. The pillars to either side of the entrance door make it feel very secure as well as homely as you enter the welcoming reception area.
The gardens at Beech House are truly amazing and won ‘Bristol in Bloom Award-winning Garden’ in 2017. They are exceptionally well looked after and the large and beautiful lawn areas are meticulously cared for. There is a vegetable plot in the garden for the residents to potter around in if they want to or they can just sit and enjoy the fresh air, beautiful flowers and plants. There is plenty of outside seating for both residents and their loved ones to enjoy the grounds with birdbaths and plant pots full of seasonal flowers and plants. The orangery style room at the back of the property has windows and doors to all 3 sides, offering a warm room where residents can still enjoy the view of the gardens in the cooler months.
Beech house has 52 individual bedrooms, including 3 shared rooms. There are ground and 1st-floor bedrooms with a modern lift for ease of access to each one. Every room has contemporary decor with a warm and homely feel and if you have a special piece of furniture and your own belongings that you want to bring with you then this can all be accommodated in your bedroom.
Glebe House in Almondsbury
Glebe House is nestled in the heart of the beautiful village of Almondsbury, surrounded by rolling countryside but just 5 minutes away from the M4/M5 interchange. It was originally built as a vicarage for St Mary’s Church at the turn of the century and as you drive through the private, leafy, tree-lined driveway you can feel the impressive splendour of this country home. Glebe House became part of the Bristol Care Homes Nursing Homes in 2006.
Its gardens are beautiful and mature with well-maintained trees, shrubs and flowers to be enjoyed throughout the different seasons. There is plenty of seating with parasols and a beautiful and ornate water fountain for you to enjoy the sound whilst you are sat in the fresh air with your friends and family when they come to visit.
Glebe House has 41 single bedrooms and 6 shared bedrooms which are situated over 3 floors with two lifts to ensure easy access. The rooms are decorated to a very high standard with neutral and calming colour schemes with high ceilings and a feeling of light and space.
Quarry House in Fishponds
Quarry House is the newest nursing home in Bristol Care Homes portfolio of homes and it was specifically designed for them, opening in 2016. It has been designed to look like modern apartments with balconies and large planters to the front. There is a stand out feature of a connecting walkway that joins the assisted living apartments to the care home which means the outstanding facilities can be utilised by everyone whether they are staying in the nursing home or living in one of the assisted living apartments.
Quarry House is located in a quiet residential area and conveniently located just 5 minutes from the bustling Fishponds high street, as well as good bus routes from all over Bristol.
There are beautiful well-maintained gardens at the back of Quarry House for residents and their families and friends to enjoy. There are 65 large, bright and airy rooms situated over 4 floors, with lifts to allow easy access in and around the home. They are all furnished to a high standard with armchairs, televisions and state of the art en suite wet room facilities in each one.
Contact us today to find out more about our Nursing Homes and our Specialist Care for Stroke, Head or Brain Injury and Challenging Behaviour we offer.