When you leave a rehabilitation (rehab) centre for your
home after a
spinal cord injury (SCI), you need to have your home
ready for your special needs. Following are some of the adaptations and
adaptive equipment you may need. Talk with your rehab team about what you will
need specifically and the best way to proceed.
Wheelchair fit. If you are in a wheelchair most
of the time, height and width are a concern. You may need to build a ramp into
your home for easy entry in your wheelchair. Discuss with your rehab team how
best to deal with hall and door width, countertops, water faucets, sinks, towel
racks, light switches, and heating and cooling controls.
cooking. You may need special handles so you can hold spoons, forks, knives,
plates, cups, and other utensils. You may need long straws to help you drink.
If you cook, you may need a shorter stove, or you can install a mirror over the
stove so you can see the food while it is cooking.
grooming. You may need tools to help you reach your feet, pull on socks, zip up
zippers, and open and close buttons. You may also need Velcro fasteners for
clothing or shoes, loops in your clothing to help you dress and undress,
sponges or bath mitts, and special handles for toothbrushes, combs, razors, and
hairbrushes. You may also need special mirrors.
equipment includes tools that help you pick up faraway things (reachers) and
small objects (if you have little pinch strength). You may also need holders
for telephones, pens, and pencils, and devices to turn on and adjust electric
appliances such as radios, TVs, and computers.
For more information on adapting your lifestyle and home,
contact any of the groups or Internet sites listed in the Other Places to Get
Help section of the topic Living With a Spinal Cord Injury.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerNancy Greenwald, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation