Wendy Coleman, ( Home Manager, Duston Rd) attended the UKABIF expert seminar day in October last year and really enjoyed the talks that were presented for the day. The topics that were covered were:
- Endocrine Problems in Acquired Brain Injury
(by Prof. Mike Barnes, Chair of UKABIF & Professor of Neurological Rehabilitation, Hunters Moor Neurorehabilitation)
- Vestibular Dysfunction
(by Dr Ruth Kent Consultant and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Rehabilitation Medicine, Pinderfields General Hospital, Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust, Academic Unit of Musculoskeletal and Rehabilitation Medicine)
- What you see isn’t always what you get (Structured testing and functioning in the real world)
(by Jayne Brake, an Occupational Therapy Manager and Jackie Parker, Director at J S Parker – a Specialist Brain and Spinal Injury Case management and Rehabilitation Services)
- Persuading Funders and Service Providers to Do Their Duty
(by Louis Browne, Barrister, Exchange Chambers)
- My Story
(by Craig Blackie, sharing his story of his personal struggle with the trivialisation of the ‘hidden’ disabilities resulting from his brain injury)
- The impact of brain injury: discovering the nature and extent of an injury’s effects
(by Bill Braithwaite, QC, Exchange Chambers)
Wendy said that the bits that stood out for her were the definitions of “executive functions” and “executive control”. Executive functions are central processes that are most intimately involved in giving organisation and order to our actions and behaviours. They have been compared to the maestro who conducts an orchestra – pulling everything together to work. It is essentially the ability to organise thoughts and work to create plans and successfully execute them to manage the administrative functions of one’s life.
Executive control, on the other hand, is the capacity to reflect on your situation and life to evaluate what is working and what is not in order to formulate plans of action and to learn to carry out such plans successfully. It also includes the capacity to learn from mistakes so that we don’t make the same ones over and over again.
Situations where executive functioning are essential are:
- Those that involve planning or decision making
- Those that involve correction
- Dangerous or technically difficult situations
- Those that require overcoming a strong habitual response or resisting temptation
What Wendy really liked about this event, was that it was a relatively small event which really gave everyone a chance to not only meet and hear from some real experts from the field of brain injury, but to also have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the issues raised.
All of our staff attend regular events to retain their level of professional knowledge in the field that we are in (specialist residential care for adults with an acquired brain injury and/or learning difficulties). Each Home Manager (particularly) is active in attending brain injury or learning difficulty professional seminars/events and ensure that they are also in touch with the local community and professional groups to keep RPC at the forefront of our industry.