Caring for your needs
Planning your care can remove some of the stress and worry of living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). A good care package provided by specialist carers will help you stay healthy and out of hospital and means you can remain independent for longer.
Think about your care needs
Don’t underestimate the amount of care you need. When putting your care plan together, make a note of every time you ask for help. This could be asking someone to reposition you in your wheelchair, pick something up that you’ve dropped on the floor, or make a cup of tea. This all needs to go into your care plan.
Whether the NHS or your local authority funds your care, they have a legal duty to meet your needs. Get everything written down, agreed and signed off so that all your care needs are met.
You need to be thorough when writing your care plan. It needs more detail than your care assessment, which you will have completed when applying for funding. You need to say how long each activity takes and how many people are needed to carry out the task.
For example, your care assessment may say you need support getting out of bed in the morning. Your care plan will then say: you need two people to help you get out of bed, which takes 20 minutes, so that’s 40 minutes of support in total.
When you’ve lived with a SCI for a long time, it’s easy to forget some of this detail. You may carry out tasks on autopilot. Also, if you’ve spent time in a spinal injury centre, where carers do things for you, it can be easy to switch off and not take note. To prepare a good care plan, consider your daily routine and care needs.
The following information sheets can assist you with the process of planning your care and also addressing any issues that occur with your care agency:
We know there’s a lot to think about when putting together a care plan. Call our support line on 0800 980 0501 to get advice from our advocacy team.
You can also head across to our healthcare professionals section for information about courses suitable for PAs and carers.