Caring for someone with a spinal injury: Navigating the new normal

Caring for someone with a spinal injury can be both challenging and rewarding.

It involves being adept at catering to physical needs while providing emotional and psychological support.

Understanding the challenges

Understanding the physical and emotional repercussions of a spinal injury is paramount in offering effective care.

The injury could be short-term or permanent, and range from minor to severe, impacting various aspects of daily life, such as mobility and self-care.

Physical challenges

  • Limited mobility: Individuals may require help with moving around and transferring to and from different areas.
  • Pressure sores: The restricted movement can lead to pressure sores. Ensuring you adjust the individual’s position frequently is essential.
  • Bowel and bladder care: Many individuals need assistance with managing bowel and bladder functions.

Emotional challenges

It is not uncommon to experience mental health issues after a spinal injury, with the most frequent issues being anxiety and depression.

Supporting and encouraging the person affected to express their feelings can help them deal with their emotions significantly. However, if you feel that professional support may be beneficial for them, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

Creating a supportive environment

  • Home adaptations: To foster independence and safe mobility, consider making home adaptations such as installing grab rails and ramps and removing tripping hazards.
  • Encouraging rehabilitation: Encourage your loved one to participate actively in rehabilitation exercises. Physical therapy can aid significantly in recovery and maintaining muscle tone.
  • Communicating effectively: Maintaining open lines of communication is pivotal. Understand that there will be days fraught with frustration, and being a patient listener can make a world of difference.
  • Professional support: Don’t shy away from seeking professional support. Connecting with support groups and therapists can provide relief and perspective during tough times.

Caring for somebody with a spinal injury can be taxing no matter the severity or time frame of it.

At Synergy Complex Care, we recognise this and can offer tailored support plans to help enable the individual, including pain management, autonomic dysreflexia care, bladder and bowel care, and speech and language therapy.

If you would like advice about a care plan for a spinal injury, please contact us today.

Posted in Spinal Injury.