Choosing a Facility for a Spinal Cord Injury

Made up of vertebrae which are 33 flat roundish type bones, the spinal column encloses and protects the spinal cord. The spinal cord is made up of nerve tissue which carries messages back and forth throughout the body. In spinal cord injuries, the cord may be severed or crushed and thereby the area below the injury which was previously served by spinal nerves can no longer relay messages properly. For example, a neck injury in which the spinal cord is severed in the neck can result in complete paralysis from the point of the injury down to the rest of the body. Injuries which occur in the lower or mid back area may allow the arms or upper body to retain some movement, but cause paralysis in the lower part of the body.

spinal-cord-iinjuriesChoosing a Rehabiliation Facility after the patient has been stabilized and ready to start on a rehabiliation program is a difficult decision. Here are some questions you may ask in order to determine if the rehab facility you are considering is right for you.

1. Please explain the types of patients that you see at this facility.
2. What percentage of the patients here have a spinal cord injury?
3. Out of the total in question #2, how many patients are a)paraplegics and b) quadraplegics?
4. How many patients do you have in the age group and gender as the person you are seeking the rehab for?
5. What are your visiting hours and please describe your policies on having family members participate in the care of the patient
6. Does the facility have a policy on home visits for the patients? If so, what are the rules/restrictions etc. on such visits?
7. What type of accreditation does the faciilty have?
8. What type of record did the facility have with regards to it’s last survey if it is an accredited facility?
9. How long will your loved one be expected to be there?
10. What types of activities are provided during weekends etc?
11. Food – what is the food service like – generally rehab centers are for longer term stays so having not only good nutrition but food that tastes good can contribute to healthy healing for your loved one