It has been two years since the Ombudsman published the Wasted Lives report, detailing that over 1,300 people under the age of 65 were living in nursing homes. A majority of these people are living with an acquired brain injury. RTE decided to investigate what progress, if any, had been made since this report was released. Unfortunately, their findings indicate there are still 1,250 people under 65 living in nursing homes and this needs to be urgently addressed. Too many brain injury survivors are inappropriately placed in nursing homes, where they are left to merely exist and lose their independence. This is not right and needs to change. More investment is needed to create more services for brain injury survivors and help them transition out of nursing homes and live more independent lives.
Brain injury survivor, Brian Hogan was in his early 30’s when he was misplaced in a nursing home after a one-punch assault left him with a brain injury. He spoke to RTE about his experience:
Brian moved to our Clarecastle assisted living service and with rehabilitation and support, he began to rebuild his life. Not every survivor gets this chance. Some survivors spend years in nursing homes, lacking independence and confidence. More needs to be done to address this devastating issue.