paralyzed after a car accident
The spinal cord contains a large bundle of nerves that transmits signals from the brain to the lower half of the body. These signals control movement and convey sensations, such as hot and cold. A severe injury to the spinal cord can result in the rupture of these nerves. When this happens, the brain can no longer communicate with the legs and pelvis, resulting in a lack of motion and feeling. This loss of motion in the body is called paraplegia and can vary in severity. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services considers paraplegia any situation that involves severe or complete loss of motor function in the lower extremities and lower portions of the trunk. Paralysis can be caused by a variety of causes, including disease and injury. If you became a paraplegic after a spinal cord injury, then in-home attendant care will almost certainly be necessary.
Attendant care for those affected by paralysis is a specialized service and must be provided by someone who is knowledgeable about the special care required for those with spinal cord injuries. Careful research is necessary to find the right in-home care. Adjusting to having an attendant care worker in your home can take time and requires patience on the part of both parties. Adjustments to your home are also common and generally must occur before the attendant begins his or her work. Common modifications include shower/bath lifts, adjustments to counter top and cabinet height, and elevators for homes with multiple stories.
In general, paralysis results in the necessity of 24 hour attendant care. This care is necessary to help with every day activities, including dressing, bathing, using the bathroom, and sometimes general mobilization. While a family member is often someone’s first choice to become his or her caregiver, careful consideration should be given to hiring a professional. At the least, a professional attendant should be interviewed and available for certain specialized situations. Additionally, if your primary caregiver is a family member, they will need to receive a certain amount of specialized training in order to properly attend to your needs.