What Do Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Centers Do
Spinal cord rehabilitation centers play an important role in spinal cord injury, assisting those who are working on their recovery. But just as no two people will experience their spinal cord injury the same way, treatment and rehabilitation also need to be personalized and specialized in regards to mental and physical injury.
Spinal cord injury rehabilitation centers can be part of the hospital at which you receive your initial treatment, or they can be independent facilities, depending on the level of care you need or want to receive. While choosing the right center can be difficult or even confusing, it is something that must be carefully considered to ensure that you receive the best and most appropriate level of care.
Finding a center that can fully serve your type of injury is critical; ultimately, the best spinal cord injury rehab facility is one that suits your unique needs! As you or a loved one ask questions over the phone or tours a facility in person, it’s important to be selective and not necessarily just go with the first center or program you find. Once you have found the ideal center or team, you will establish with your doctors your spinal cord injury rehabilitation plan. You want to look at the following things as you are searching for your rehabilitation center.
- Experience-You’ll want to find out how much experience they have in treating your type of injury.
- Variety of Programs/Treatments- You will want to know what types of programs or facilities are available, such as counseling, physical and occupational therapies, hydrotherapy, and electrical stimulation. Are there peer support groups available? And what types of activities, if any, are planned for patients on the evenings and weekends? As part of your recovery, you will need and want to be stimulated and not be stagnant outside of your therapy hours.
- Ratio of Caregivers to Patients-Knowing how many patients are in a program, particularly with injuries similar to yours, can play a role in your decision about which facility to choose. Are you someone who feels like you may be lost in a crowd and would just be another number? Then you’ll want to know how many caregivers are available in comparison to the number of patients being treated at the facility.
- Level of Care- Many survivors are prone to additional health problems as a result of their spinal cord injuries, including high or low blood pressure, and cardiac and respiratory issues. You’ll want to know whether the facility is equipped to manage life-threatening medical emergencies.
- Patient Results-Rehabilitation facilities measure patient outcomes in terms of “functional improvement.” You can inquire about how many or what percentage of patients return to their homes or communities versus long-term care facilities after treatment.
Last but not least is maintaining healthy self-esteem, which is something that many people struggle with after a spinal cord injury. It can change depending on what’s going on in your life. Oftentimes dressing well, good hygiene, and staying busy is enough to have good self-esteem after spinal cord injury.