Living with the long-term impacts of encephalitis

The Priory Egerton Road provides care for people with acquired brain injury (ABI), particularly those requiring slower stream support, with the aim of facilitating individuals’ return to community living, where appropriate.

After suffering an acquired brain injury as a result of encephalitis Harry*, 62, was admitted to The Priory Egerton Road for specialist long-term care.

After his immediate, acute treatment for encephalitis, Harry experienced the longer term impacts of his acquired brain injury including episodes of low mood, suicidal ideation and erratic behaviour.

Prior to his illness, Harry enjoyed education and had an active lifestyle. After suffering encephalitis and an acquired brain injury as a result, Harry’s personality and abilities changed greatly. Harry has expressed feeling angry at the loss of his sense of self and identity, sad or low about his current situation and worthless because he couldn’t manage tasks that he used to do every day, such as his own washing.

Harry's interaction with others was also largely affected; he would have regular outbursts of anger towards staff and also developed repetitive tic-like movements.

Harry came to Egerton Road for stability and to increase his quality of life in a safe environment, where his health, mood and social interactions could be closely monitored.

Harry commenced one-to-one work with Egerton Road’s multidisciplinary team.

His treatment focused on building his independence and social interaction skills, which have helped to develop Harry’s social skills, enabling him to engage more positively with staff and other residents.

His treatment included mindfulness exercises, sessions allowing Harry to express his feelings, group work such as psycho-education, social skills training and current affairs skills. Additionally, his team developed strategies to increase Harry's independence in terms of personal care and daily living activities.

Harry’s progress

Harry has made incredible progress since he was first admitted to Egerton Road – he shows no signs of facial tics, and no longer talks about harming himself or others.

He is able to go out for long walks alone, enjoys walking dogs and having meals out. Harry now participates in residents' meetings, offers ideas for trips out for the residents and has made friends. This has been significant progress from admission when Harry was observed as socially withdrawn and aggressive.

He is also far more independent with his daily routines, he cooks on a weekly basis and his confidence has grown tremendously.

Harry still requires regular input and encouragement from his team at Egerton Road to ensure that he retains the confidence that he has gained. He needs to be supported and encouraged with all aspects of daily living which he now appears to enjoy rather than sees as a chore. His cognitive abilities and his anxiety and depression levels have also greatly improved.

His outlook appears positive and he is looking forward to the future. His family are overwhelmed with the progress that he has made and say that they never thought that the day would come where they would look forward to Harry hopefully coming home to live with them one day.

For more about The Priory Egerton Road please click here, call 0800 840 3219 or click here to make an enquiry.

*Name changed to protect patient identity