By Brian Hall, Occupational Therapist
In late September I had the fortune of attending the 10th annual conference of the Brain Injury Association of Canada. The three days consisted of engaging speakers, group discussions, one-to-one chats over coffee and connecting with students, professionals, politicians, families, and individuals living with a brain injury.
The survivors and their families were some of the most courageous, tenacious and insightful people I’ve ever met, and really made me think about how I can better serve the acquired brain injury population. These ideas, some of which we already put into practice at Connect, I’ve summarized below:
#1) To get to know a person, their values, their interests, what makes them ‘tick’, it takes time – consistent interactions, where both parties are participating by asking questions and conversing and getting to know one another.
#2) Trust isn’t given, it’s made – and it’s made by #1
#3) Significant, meaningful and functional improvements can be made for years and decades after an acquired brain injury – there is no such thing as the 2-year “plateau”.
It was with great pride that I described the CONNECT philosophy of ‘making lives better’ to the conference attendees. It makes me proud to work with a dynamic, flexible team that continually evaluates and re-evaluates the difference we are making and how we can do better. I for one plan to focus more time on really getting to know our residents and their families, to learn their values and help them achieve and set powerful goals.
Many of the presentations are available through this link: http://biac-aclc.ca/2013/10/07/2013-conference-presentations/