Victims of spinal cord injuries go through a lot, right from the moment of the accident to living their life in a wheelchair. They are forced to adjust to a new way of living while coping with the emotional conflict that comes with it.
As a caretaker, you, too, need to adjust to their lifestyle and mold your schedules accordingly. You have to understand that it’s pretty normal for the patient to feel a bit angry, confused, or sad at such times.
However, instead of getting frustrated with their behavior, you should take a step ahead and find the strength to help them heal and alter their new way of life.
This would help them recover faster.
Below, we have shared five ways you can help your family member who’s suffering from a spinal cord injury.
Understand the Injury
Since a spinal cord injury comes with many physical challenges, such as loss of sensation in the hands and feet, numbness, or even paralysis, ensure you understand the entire recovery process.
An injury higher on the spinal cord can paralyze most of the body and affect all limbs. And there are other scenarios, too.
So, consult the medical experts and know what you can do in order to help them deal with the injury effects.
Send Them To a Rehabilitation Center
As soon as the victim gets discharged from the hospital, experts suggest referring them to a rehab center where they could spend 3-4 months. If the injury is severe, it may exceed up to 6-8 months.
The time in the center entails physical therapy, occupational therapy, and counseling to help them get used to their new way of living.
One of the family members stays with the victim, which helps you adapt to the whole situation as a family.
Help Them Follow an Exercise Plan
Each injury is unique. Depending on the level and completeness of the injury, the doctor would recommend a special exercise plan.
And there are certain precautions that people with SCI ( spinal cord injury) have to take care of.
For instance, victims with low BP or difficulty breathing should be careful. Whatever exercise plan is given to the victim, make sure you help them follow it.
Make Sure They Use an Electric Wheelchair
During the time in the rehab center, the physical therapist would closely monitor the progress of the victim and suggest a wheelchair accordingly.
Nowadays, experts suggest using the Best electric wheelchairs as they provide increased independence, are easy to use, and don’t need to ask for help every time they want to move. As a family member, be sure to ask the therapist to recommend an electric wheelchair.
However, for travel, a regular light wheelchair may be the best option, as electric wheelchairs can be quite cumbersome to move around with when going long distances. Having this as a backup can be highly beneficial during these times and your loved one should still be able to enjoy themselves no matter their condition
Keep Them Engaged
Life can be emotionally challenging for SCI victims. They might find it easy to doubt their self-worth and confidence level in dealing with the world. To help them feel normal and lively, be sure to keep them engaged in one thing or the other.
Make a list of the things they like the most. For instance, if they’re cinephiles, watch new shows with them, or if they like reading, give them a new book to read.
The injury can be painful for both the victim and the family. While you have obvious ways to cry over the accident, you can find ways to help the victim recover faster and get back to their normal life.
Things will take time, but you will eventually adapt to the whole scenario.
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