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South Australia offers in home support for people with brain injury

05 November, 2006

South Australians with a brain injury will get more support at home, through a $5.5m funding boost over the next four years contained in the State Budget.

Disability Minister Jay Weatherill said the funding increase would mean 120 extra people would get assistance with in-home support, so they can continue to live in the community.

This could be assistance with cleaning, cooking, washing or paying bills,he said.

People want to continue to live at home, despite their disability, so this extra funding will help them and their families, cope with the consequences of their disability.

Brain injury is one of the fastest growing disabilities in Australia. The State Government's specialist disability brain injury services have an average of 24 new clients every month, many from regional South Australia, and many have brain injury resulting from motor vehicle accidents.

People with brain injury will also benefit from a $300,000 annual increase in the budget for equipment for people with disabilities, such as wheelchairs and home renovations.

Road Safety Minister Carmel Zollo said it is an absolute tragedy that road crashes are the leading cause of acquired brain injury in South Australia.

The road to recovery from such an injury is a long, traumatic and expensive one, Minister Zollo said.

Ministers in South Australia urge people who still think they can take risks on the road without having such a disastrous impact on their own, or other lives, to think long and hard about the consequences.

Motorcyclists and cyclists are particularly vulnerable on the roads - for that reason Ministers think it is timely to remind people that the wearing of helmets is compulsory.

The State Government funds a range of services for people with brain injury, including the non-government organisation the Brain Injury Network of South Australia (BINSA). It is receiving $380,000 this financial year, as well as a one-off grant of $3,500, to provide advocacy and services to people with brain injury and their families.

Funding to BINSA has increased 34% since 2002, from $284,000 to $380,000.