Gillian Hilbourne moves freely again now, but it has taken several months of hard work on her part to restore that independence.
Prior to Christmas she fell in the garden and hit her head on the paving, causing a brain injury. She was rushed to UHW where she remained an inpatient for 3 weeks before being transferred to St David’s Hospital for nearly 3 months’ rehabilitation and specialist care from the Brain Injury Team.
Once discharge was under discussion, the Occupational Therapist from the North and West Cardiff Community Resource Team (CRT) stepped in to ensure that all Mrs Hilbourne’s needs were met so that she could return to her own home.
There have been lasting effects from the injury which require Gillian to take 20 daily medications, for which the CRT arranged monthly blister packs to be delivered. These ensure that Gillian takes the correct medications at the correct intervals. On discharge from hospital she found it difficult to walk so a zimmer frame and a stair rail were provided along with a raised toilet seat, and a personal alarm has been arranged. To ensure continuation of the recovery commenced in hospital, carers came to her home four times a day for 6 weeks, a physiotherapist has provided exercises to develop strength and restore mobility, a dietician has been involved and Gillian has been taught relaxation techniques.
There is now no longer any sign of the need for a zimmer frame, Gillian is able to walk down the garden with the aid of a walking stick (provided by the CRT), and she has recently ventured to the nearby shops. She continues with her exercises and is aiming to regain her confidence.