Livability is a registered provider of disability care and community projects throughout the UK. Livability Icanho is an acquired brain injury rehabilitation centre based in Suffolk. It is a community based, interdisciplinary rehabilitation service dedicated to providing bespoke interventions for people who have an acquired brain injury, offering an integrated team approach which includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, clinical psychology, and social work.
The organisation usually works face-to-face with clients and families, but the centre had to close due to the lockdown making face-to-face work impossible. The Icanho staff team adapted their services, providing support via telephone calls, Teams and Zoom, as well as sending exercise programmes and videos to clients to enable them to continue their rehabilitation during the pandemic. However, they found that the potential for clients to improve was limited by the lack of face-to-face contact and the inability to work more closely physically with them. A grant from the Suffolk Coronavirus Community Fund will enable Liveability Icanho to ensure the provision of PPE equipment and easy to sanitise equipment so the centre can reopen during Covid-19 restrictions.
Ivan, a young married man, who had a stroke late in 2019 and was referred to Icanho in 2020. He has physical, communication, psychosocial and social needs, and was low in mood, struggling to come to terms with his stroke. We made telephone contact in March, and Ivan was clearly in need, but we were unable to offer him our usual face to face appointments.
The team put together a remote trial programme to see if our support could benefit him through this traumatic period in his life. We were excited to see how well Ivan engaged with Zoom calls and a home exercise programme. His mood improved as did his physical ability, independence, and communication. However, we know his potential was limited by the lack of opportunity to work more closely physically with him. As soon as we can, we will invite Ivan to the centre. We are confident that he will benefit from direct work to further tailor therapy input and look forward to seeing him continue to grow in confidence and wellbeing.
I am incredibly proud of how the team at Icanho has pulled together, despite being geographically distanced, always keeping our clients and their families/carers at the forefront of our planning. Having an acquired brain injury is always traumatic for individuals and those close to them but having to manage this in lockdown has presented even greater and remorseless challenges and pressures. The Icanho team has offered support and guidance, reduced the impact of disability and given people hope in difficult times.