Spinal Cord Injuries
Rehabilitation Units are places where those injured can find hope, strength, inspiration and the specialized medical care needed for spinal cord rehabilitation.
A Rehabilitation Unit should provide long-term rehabilitative care and intensive physical, occupational and recreational therapy, to help those with spinal cord injuries to relearn the basic skills of everyday life. Counseling is also provided to the patients, helping patients learn to cope with their injury and rediscover the fulfilling life that lies ahead for them. The rehabilitative programs are intense. Patients spend several hours each day relearning the skills of everyday life - how to dress, brush their teeth and feed themselves.
Developing independence is especially important. Many SCI Rehabilitation Units include kitchens and laundry facilities and other equipment so patients can learn independent living skills, such as cooking meals or ironing clothes.
Teaching Self Care Skills
After a spinal cord injury, many things change. It's not just being unable to walk or move your arms. A spinal cord injury can also affect the nerves and muscles and can cause bowel and bladder problems and skin problems. Patients should be taught the self-care skills needed to deal with these problems. Spouces, parents or family members of spinal cord injured patients should not be left out; they, too, must learn how to take care of their loved one. Children have special needs and so it is important that these needs are addressed. There are a number of programs that specifically address SCI injuries for pediatric patients.
Having a spinal cord injury doesn't mean that those injured have to stop participating in fun activities. Many hospitals have recreational therapists on staff to show patients that the fun times have just begun or can begin again. From wheelchair basketball, volleyball and tennis, to specially adapted Nintendo games, all that's required is a little ingenuity.