Paralyzed from the neck down and still dependent on a respirator, actor Christopher Reeve is nevertheless a man with much work to do. “I can’t get down to my office the way I used to,” he said in a telephone interview earlier this month from his home outside New York City. “But set up in the corner of my living room – from one station, I’m able to make phone calls, to fax, to return phone calls and to write letters . . . It really is one-stop shopping. It puts me in touch with the world.”
Reeve, who suffered a severe spinal cord injury after a horse-riding accident in May 199 5, is learning to use DragonDictate, speech recognition software that allows hands-free computer, phone, fax and printer operation. It is manufactured by a Newton firm, Dragon Systems Inc.
1. Choose to take charge of your life. Don’t let your loved one’s illness or Disability always take center stage.
We fall into caregiving often because of an unexpected event, but somewhere along the line you need to step back and consciously say, “I choose to take on this caregiving role.” It goes a long way toward eliminating the feeling of being a victim.
Australasian Spinal Research Trust (Australia)
The Trust is dedicated to finding a cure for paralysis via promotion and funding of research and dissemination of information about developments in research.
Canadian & American Spinal Research Organization (Canada)
An alliance of the CSRO and ASRO to help us maximize research and the fund raising efforts. Dedicated to the improvement of the physical quality of life for persons with a spinal cord injury through targeted medical & scientific research.
American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA)
Group of medical and other professionals engaged in treatment of spinal cord injury: to promote and establish standards for health care, education, to foster research and to facilitate communication between members.
How spinal cord injuries (SCI) are managed–especially in the critical early stages–has a profound effect on a patient’s outcome. The publication of the first comprehensive SCI, treatment guidelines is an important step in standardizing evidence-based care.
Acute spinal cord injury (SCI) causes devastating neurologic Impairment that often leads to a lifetime of Disability. Each year, there are approximately 11,000 new SCI cases in the United States. (1) About 55% of SCIs occur among people between the ages of 16 and 30. (1)
Therapy dogs work with SCI patients at University of Washington and Harborview Medical Centers
Animal lovers know how comforting a pet can be. Health care providers now recognize that the unconditional love and companionship of a pet can have beneficial effects on the physical and psychological health of the people around them. Increasingly, therapy animals are being used in nursing homes, hospitals, and other therapeutic settings to encourage social interaction and reduce loneliness. At Harborview and the University of Washington Medical Center, therapy dogs have become regular members of the Rehabilitation staff.
Every year, approximately 10,000 persons in the United States, typically young adults (New Mobility, 1996), seriously injure their spinal cords and become permanently paralyzed. Through advances in medical treatment, most persons survive a spinal cord injury and live two or more decades post-injury. However, researchers have only recently begun to study the long-term psychosocial implications of a spinal cord injury (Whiteneck, Charlifue, Frankel, et al., 1992). One such psychosocial implication is the person’s perceived satisfaction with the quality of his or her life following such an injury. This study examined factors associated with the life satisfaction of persons with a spinal cord injury including biological, personal, and social factors.
ABC of sexual health
Almost 4% of the UK population have some form of physical, sensory, or intellectual Impairment–almost 2.5 million people. Many of these disabling conditions can produce sexual problems of desire, arousal, orgasm, or sexual pain in men and women. Sexual difficulties may arise from direct trauma to the genital area (due to either accident or disease), damage to the nervous system (such as spinal cord injury), or as an indirect consequence of a non-sexual illness (cancer of any organ may not directly affect sexual abilities but can cause fatigue and reduce the desire or ability to engage in sexual activity).
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a severe traumatic Disability that occurs suddenly and affects both sensory and Motor functions. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center 1999), there are about 203,000 persons in the U.S. who have sustained a spinal cord injury and approximately 10,000 new injuries occurr each year. Although medical advances have increased the life expectancies of people with SCI, there has been a limited amount of research addressing life satisfaction in people with SCI (Krause, 1992).