Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a debilitating injury with lifelong impact on the individual, their family, and the community. To minimise this impact, and assure that quality of life outcomes are maintained for individuals who experience SCI, researchers are evaluating and comparing the various models of lifetime accommodation and support offered in Victoria.

After TBI, the injured person has traditionally been offered one of three support options: returning to home-like environments with a high level of care, moving to a Shared Supported Accommodation (SSA) or being placed in Residential Aged Care (RAC).

The TAC wanted to further research around these models of accommodation, to help understand the different ways in which they impact upon the health, activity and quality of life outcomes of TAC claimants.

A series of three research projects were led by Libby Callaway from Monash's Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science.

These projects will contrast the quality of life that TAC claimants experience across the following accommodation models:

  1. Existing SSA
  2. Home-like environments
  3. The new purpose-built dwellings financed by TAC's Residential Independence Pty Ltd (RIPL) Trust

The quality of life of claimants is measured in terms of their mental and physical health, ability to execute choice, social networks, community integration and participation outcomes.

Each subsequent project will build upon the findings of the previous one, to paint a gradually evolving picture of the available accommodation options and their impact upon residents, as well as on the financial viability of TAC's compensation schemes.

Status

The three projects will be completed shortly, offering insight into the quality of life experienced by 40 people with severe TBI living in SSA funded by TAC or WorkSafe.

Early findings show some people forging valued social connections whilst others were socially isolated. Findings also indicate that the support needs of this group are complex, often necessitating high levels of daily support.

Watch this space for further updates.