Nationwide Occupational Therapy, All Ages, All Injuries
15 November 2022

Sue's Story

“Life has changed dramatically as a result of the accident"

When we first met Sue she was in hospital and struggling to move even her toes after a catastrophic motorcycle accident resulting in multiple complex musculoskeletal injures, nerve damage a head trauma. She could not stand or look after her basic needs. We began MDT working with her before discharge and planned a safe discharge from the hospital to her home where the real rehab could begin. On first arriving home Sue said:

"Life has changed dramatically as a result of the accident, I can't do my day-to-day things like I used to be able to. I have to rely on other people to help me, get me where I need to go and support me in everything I do. I can't walk up or down the stairs on my own, I need somebody with me in case I lose my balance and I fall. People guide me to the toilet so that I don’t trip over anything. I can't do anything like I used to be able to do."

Still coming to terms with the loss of her fiancé in the accident, Sue's mood and psychological state were as important to her rehab plans as her physical recovery. Before her injuries, Sue was working full time and living an active life in which she enjoyed 5-mile dog walks (three days a week), meeting friends for coffee and cycling regularly but was now fully dependent on her daughter. She was housebound, primarily wheelchair bound and was experiencing isolation, being unable to engage in her pre-index role of grandmother which was really making her feel low. Her psychological screening tools confirmed moderate anxiety and cognitive assessments highlighted a mild neurocognitive disorder too. 

As Sue's motivations for change were high, an immediate start to the comprehensive rehab package was requested. The rehab was timebound and specific, centred around Sue's personal goals and led buy the SROT's functional, hands-on rehab approach. The rehab consisted of: 

  • SROT for 12 months to address comprehensive lifestyle rehab covering all areas of daily living activities, leisure and work, with twice weekly contacts and averaging 6 hours of face-to-face SROT rehab a week

SROT then initiated and coordinated the following services: 

  • Physio, nutritionist, consultant/medical teams, carers, equipment, statutory services, held funds budget management

Her SROT sessions were always fun and were focused on Sue's leisure goals, but with the SROTs skills at manipulating and grading activities, multiple core skills were being enhanced at the same time. Being local, the SROT could visit regularly throughout the week and used bowling, nintendo switch and pottery as just some of the intervention methods to improve Sue's mobility, upper limb control, confidence outdoors and quality of life.

Within 9 months she had returned to looking after her grandchild who she couldn't even change a nappy for initially and had returned to work on amended duties whilst she continued rehab to work towards a return to full time hours. Her rehab continues as you read this!