Training for families
Relatives of people with neurological disabilities suffer a major impact. In addition to receiving the initial diagnosis, they have to deal with the physical and neuropsychological changes (cognitive, behavioural, and emotional) arising from the injury. Initially, no family is prepared to live with someone with a neurological injury, be it more or less severe, and when this happens it creates an immediate crisis in the family environment. The relationships that had been established between its members are modified, a role reversal occurs and the expectations and objectives of the family unit are disrupted.
Within the family system, the primary caregiver provides most of the assistance and support to the patient and allows them to continue living in the family. To do so, they devote their time to the affected family member, often giving up on their work, leisure activities and social life, while at the same time having to cope with the loss, concerns and uncertainty about the future. All this is a great physical and emotional burden that is associated with the severity of the patient’s sequelae and the resources available.
The family has to be considered, aided and assisted both in the early stages of rehabilitation and in the later stages. It is important to provide information, education, support, counselling and therapy; and in some cases complement this with the treatment of specific issues, support groups or associations of families of patients.
Support, guidance and information programme aimed at families of patients on treatment
Following a comprehensive rehabilitation approach in which the family is seen as a key element in the rehabilitation of the person affected by neurological disability, the Institut Guttmann incorporates educational, support, guidance and information programmes aimed at families. These programs are coordinated by neuropsychology, clinical psychology and social work professionals.
- Meeting point: interactive sessions where different aspects of disability are discussed.
- Relaxation workshop: Techniques to relax and reduce the emotional and physical stress that the disability of a family member involves.
- Psychoeducational group: space where educational, therapeutic and mutual assistance are combined to express concerns and feelings, to contribute and share opinions and to provide strategies for coping with stress and adaptation to change.
- Group information and education to families of patients with brain injury: information sessions about the consequences of brain injury and, in particular, of the neuropsychological aspects, aiming to improve the family’s understanding, clarify doubts, facilitate the involvement and provide guidelines, strategies and tips to act appropriately in certain situations.
The Institut Guttmann combines groups with individual interventions to address specific problems. In this programme, associations of affected people have their own space that constitutes another aspect in supporting families, offering the ability to talk to people who have had the same thing happen to them and share experiences.