February 12th, 2011

Waking from a vegetative state in a nursing home

Where: Britain
When: more or less present-day (2008, to be exact)

Previous research: lots and lots and lots, all kinds of search strings and folders full of bookmarks and notes since around 2007 (this is a long-term writing project)

The situation:

The character has been sort of comatose/in a vegetative state for about a year. (It's not, or not primarily, due to brain damage, although he may have some as well, because he survived a fall, but that's kind of tangential to the question here. Let's assume that psychological factors were at least contributing, possibly even the main reason for his prolonged unconsciousness, so there are no physical/neurological reasons why he couldn't wake up and regain a decent degree of functionality.)

Well, he's beginning to wake up now. At first he's only conscious for short periods of time, but he's getting closer to full awakening.

Oh, and he's in a nursing home, not a hospital, because after recovering from the injuries of the fall, there really wasn't anything a hospital could do for him that a nursing home couldn't, and his situation did not look like it would improve anytime soon.

He's privately insured and has a small but caring family.

Questions:

1.) I assume he'd not exactly be in the most horrible of nursing homes, with private insurance and a family who probably took an active role in choosing the place. Is this assumption correct?

2.) At which point of his awakening would the nursing home people begin to explain his situation to him? And who would do the explaining?

3.) At which point would they do some initial neurological testing to assess the potential brain damage? Soon after he begins to wake up, or only once he's "properly awake"? Would they get a specialist in for that? Or is that something that would only happen later, in rehab?

4.) At which point would he be transferred to a rehab facility? Really soon - say, after a day or two? Or after a slightly longer period? And would they begin some form of rehab even before that, and if so, when? And what?

5.) I'm sure I've forgotten a few questions I had. ;-)

Basque Country

How common or uncommon would it be for someone who lived in Basque country to speak English?  I am not finding anything about that online

The reason I would like to know, is that I want to put a small family in a story where at least the parents neither speak nor understand English. Another character recognizes this because he can tell where they come from. So, if you know of any region in Western Europe in which someone is unlikely to speak English (preferably not a very poor area, though), that would help me as well.

I searched variations on Spain (or Germany), region, speak English.  I got a few answers.com things that were fairly unhelpful.  I also looked up Basque Country on Wikipedia, but got no help there.