Caring For Someone With A Spinal Cord Injury
When someone sustains a spinal cord injury, often the trauma extends beyond the body. People can find that they are affected emotionally and psychologically as well. It too is not only the injured party who is affected – friends and family may also find it difficult to come to terms with the changes in their loved one. This is particularly true of the people who share their home.
Becoming A Carer
Depending on the severity of an injury, someone who has sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI) may require a great deal of care. If it is your child or spouse, you may find yourself helping them to dress, bathe, move between their bed and their wheelchair; and whilst many people do this without a second thought, it can still take an emotional and psychological toll. It is important for someone in this position to take care of their own needs as well.
It can also be the case that a child or young adult ends up taking on a caring role for a parent who has sustained an injury or has a disability. In this instance, the family dynamic can be affected, and by taking on the caring role, the child can see affects in their schoolwork, their friendships, their mental health, and in every aspect of their life.
For example, children who care for a parent may be distracted in school, worrying about their mum or dad. They may not have time for homework if their evenings are taken up with shopping, cooking, and caring for siblings.
It is important for adults and children in this position to know that they are not alone.
Helping Young Carers
There are a number of local services and charities across England who can help young carers. For example, The Children’s Society’s Young Carers in Focus (YCiF) Programme works to advocate for young carers and give them skills and opportunities that they may not otherwise be able to access.
Something that can be very helpful to young carers is ensuring that the person for whom they are caring accesses all the support that they can, in order to lessen the burden on the child. If the injury was sustained as the result of an accident then it is worth talking to the team at Aspire Law, as you may be entitled to compensation, which can be used to help adapt a family home for example.
Aspire Law work closely with the charity Aspire, who offer practical help to people living with spinal cord injuries, helping them to regain as much independence as possible.