Support people with acquired brain injury
I am writing to ask for your assistance in creating a fund to support the medically-necessary and non-medical needs of people impacted by acquired brain injury (ABI). ABI is a broad term that includes, but is not limited to, brain injuries acquired as a result of arteriovenous malformation (AVM), stroke, brain aneurysm, and brain tumor.
People left diagnosed with multiple disabilities from ABI is devastating for both the person impacted and their loved ones. While all impacted are adjusting to a “new normal” and combatting other ailments that often stem from the initial injury, they may also be subject to intense financial challenges associated with covering the cost of services and supports. These challenges often increase stress and can compromise the focus on healing and maximizing quality of life.
Supports and services can range from smaller items (ex: durable medical equipment, diapers) to costly home modifications (ex: overhead hoyer lift; wheel-in shower; platform chair lift to get upstairs; widened doors inside a house large enough to get out in case of emergencies) and everything else in-between (ex: service coordination; assistive technology; therapies (ex: cognitive, occupational, music, physical, speech; neuropsychological services; medicine; respite; nursing assistance; legal services). Some supports and services are not covered by insurance will add to the financial stress. A sliding-scale fund based on extent of need can alleviate such stressors.
Currently, New Jersey has a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Fund. The purpose of the Fund, in part, is to function “…as the payer of last resort, for the costs of post-acute care, services and financial assistance provided in this State to residents of this State who have survived neuro-trauma with a traumatic brain injury.” The TBI Fund is intended to benefit people whose injury stems from an external force but not from a non-external force or ABI. People with ABI need services and supports just as people with TBI do. The creation of an ABI Fund can be instrumental in addressing this need and keeping individuals in the home environment and out of costly institutional settings.
It all comes down to helping families focus on what is most important - taking care of their loved one.
I respectfully request that you work with the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey, your colleagues in the State Legislature, and any and all interested parties on creating a fund exclusively dedicated to benefitting people with acquired brain injury. The result would be that all people with brain injury will receive the financial support they so desperately need in light of a very challenging life circumstance. Thank you for your consideration.