According to the charity Aspire a shocking fact is SPI paralyzes someone every four hours! The number of people being injured or diagnosed each year in the UK with a spinal cord injury is now estimated to be around 2,500 – 35 per week. Sadly, in the UK it is now estimated that there are around 50,000 people living with a spinal cord injury.
How do you get a spinal cord injury?
Many things can cause SCI. The more common injuries occur when the area of the spine or neck is bent or compressed, as in the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents (automobiles, motorcycles, and being struck as a pedestrian)
- Sports injuries
- Diving accidents
- Trampoline accidents
- Violence (gunshot or stab wounds)
- Infections that form an abscess on the spinal cord
- Birth injuries, which typically affect the spinal cord in the neck area
Living with SPI
Depending on the severity of a spinal cord injury, some people may find themselves unable to walk again. In situations like these, it is advised to work with a variety of medical professionals to regain the ability to walk or gain some mobility safely.
Damage lower down on the spine can cause paralysis of the legs and lower body (paraplegia). Bowel and bladder control can be affected no matter where the spinal cord is injured.
Changes and modifications to the home for SPI patients:
Having a spinal cord injury means that your mobility has changed. Because of this, your home may need some changes. It will need to be set up in a way that allows you to do your activities of daily living, such as personal/hygiene care. Home modification can mean small changes, like new door handles that are easier to turn. Or it may mean larger changes, such as installing a home elevator. You will need to think about how to adapt your home to best suit your needs.
If needed, your local care team may visit your home to observe, measure, and help determine what areas are needed to be modified. Some of these may include:
- Adding ramps, elevators, or lifts for entries, exits, and thresholds
- Putting down non-skid surface materials
- Widening doors and hallways
- Changing heights of outlets, storage, and counters
- Adapting the bathroom to allow for easier toileting and bathing
- Adapting the bedroom for easier access to the bed
- Adjusting or changing appliances so they work with your needs
- Organization of space to allow for a wheelchair to move safely
Here at Bespoke Bathing we have and continue to help many people living with all reduced mobility so they can enjoy a relaxing bath or shower and maintain an independent hygiene routine. We have a specialised range of easy-access products from walk-in baths with powered seats to low threshold wheelchair-friendly wet rooms. Our home surveyors can help design, plan and arrange the most suitable bathroom installation to meet your lifestyle.
Benefits of a Bath with Spinal Cord Injury
A bath offers escape from the pressures of living with SPI, in fact a bath can have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing not just physically… Warm water helps to reduce tension and being in water decreases your body weight by up to 90% making it easier on the joints. Check out our baths with powered-seats here.
Benefits of a Showers and Spinal Cord Injury
A wet room or low-level shower offers huge health and mental well-being by giving independence back to your life. Poor sensation can cause burns and scolds so we always use Temperature controlled taps and showers that will prevent burns and scolds in the bathroom.
At Bespoke Bathing we understand how to create a safe and stylish easy access bathroom, after all, we have been doing it across the UK for over 30 years. As standard we always make sure our bathrooms meet safety standards for people living with chronic illness or disabilities. That’s why we recommend and help adapt the bathroom with the products below.
- Anti-slip flooring and surfaces
- Shower seats
- Grab rails
- Bath seats
- TMV Rated Taps and Showers
- Low-level walk-in Baths
- Easy clean shower doors
- Light switches easy to reach
Tips for the bathroom and SPI:
One of our customers said… “ my hands are impaired by paralysis that makes using slippery soap, shampoo bottles, body scrubbers and shower nozzles a real challenge”
- Soap on-a-rope
- Lots of grab rails
- Wash mitt with D-Ring closure and handy pouch to hold a bar of soap
- Temperature controlled tap/shower heads
- A bendable scrub and sponge
- Pump bottles for shampoo
- Keep towels in easy reach of bath or shower and if you are using a wheelchair good idea to place one on the seat cushion so when you transfer back it will keep the seat dry and you help dry you quicker
Grants Available for your Bathroom?
If you have a disability that requires you to make changes to your home because of a chronic illness like a spinal cord injury, it is possible to get a grant – a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) – from your local council to cover some or all of the work needed. This is specifically to allow for improved access to floors and rooms and to make it more suitable for your needs. As part of this grant, the purchase and installation of a bespoke bathroom can either be fully or partially funded. To apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant simply visit www.gov.uk/disabled-facilities-grants.
If you would like just advice on a new easy-access bathroom or to arrange a home survey with a local Bespoke Bathing representative, then please call our team between 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday on 0800 1695 526 or email us for a brochure here.
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