A man with a brain injury and his carer enjoy gardening

Life can be changed beyond all recognition both for those who experience a brain injury and the family and friends who support them. Leisure activities can play a vital role in aiding recovery and assisting with re-integration into a social life as well as improving physical fitness and providing strategies to cope with stress, build self-esteem, find companionship and generally improve quality of life.

The sort of activities appropriate for a person will no doubt be linked to their pre-accident interests and can fall into various categories:

  1. Arts/cultural
  2. Home activities – such as gardening and craft work
  3. Outdoor activities
  4. Social activities
  5. Sports and fitness activities

Such interests can be particularly important where due to a brain injury, a person is suffering a loss of status as a consequence of no longer being able to engage in the remunerative employment that they enjoyed prior to their injury. This being the case, it can often assist to look to combine voluntary work with much loved leisure activities to help rebuild a sense of worth as well as mental well-being.

It is astonishing the provision that is now available for both the physically and cognitively disabled to engage in sports, even extreme sports, and this can be excellent where the injured person is young and previously enjoyed an active lifestyle. It is brilliant to see those who had a passion for ski-ing, mountain biking, climbing running etc. enjoying such sports post injury. However, for some burdened with the social isolation which can come from a dependence on the TV and social media, the social interaction provided by attending theatre, cinema, concerts and sporting events can be life enhancing.

Active participation in activities such as yoga, gardening, music therapy, singing in a choir, assisting with an animal charity can all serve to help in improving confidence, offering companionship as well as assisting recovery by helping with issues of concentration, memory and coping with managing extreme fatigue as well as improving mental well-being and offering a sense of joy and fun.

Coping with a hidden disability can be extremely socially isolating and all activities that can help to combat this and prevent this escalating to issues of depression are essential.

Whilst life may have changed beyond recognition it is important to remember that life is for living and for trying to do this by re-engaging the passions you had before that change took place.

What is the Brain Injury Group?

The Brain Injury Group exists to support individuals and families affected by brain injury and the health and social care professionals working in this specialist field. Our mission is to provide anyone affected by brain injury with access to advice on legal, financial and welfare benefit issues delivered by proven experts in the field who have been chosen not only for their skills and knowledge, but also for their passion and dedication to helping people.

How can Brain Injury Group help you?

If you’ve been affected by brain injury and need free legal or welfare advice there are several ways to get in touch::

  1. Call us on 0800 612 9660 or 01737 852203
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Complete this short enquiry form and we’ll get back to you

Produced by Jenny Shone, an associate in the clinical negligence team at member law firm Higgs & Sons