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Thread: What's expected before leaving rehab?

  1. #1

    What's expected before leaving rehab?

    Hey all --

    I'm working on a project to point out the decline in some states as far as spinal cord rehabilitation goes currently, as opposed to 20+ years ago when I, and many here, did rehab.

    For example, when I was in rehab in 1987, before I was released I had to be capable of the following:

    basic care, including, in/out of bed, chair, shower
    dressing/undressing - shoes on/off
    personal hygiene
    bowel/bladder management
    skin care
    preparing meals
    cleaning up
    wheeling - including up/down steep ramps/inclines - popping up/down curbs
    emergency - bumping down staircase in chair
    falling out of chair/getting back into chair
    transferring in/out of vehicle - and for my rehab, driving as well

    I do peer support, and have noticed a trend that people are being sent home earlier and as a result, needing more help than may otherwise be necessary.

    If you're a para or a quad, can you please share with me what you had to do before leaving rehab? Can you also share your level and approx. rehab date?

    Thanks so much in advance.

  2. #2
    basic care, including, in/out of bed, chair, shower
    dressing/undressing - shoes on/off
    rolling over
    personal hygiene
    bowel/bladder management (learned premise, couldn't practice until c-collar came off)
    skin care
    preparing meals-well, 1 meal
    transferring in/out of vehicle

    No chair skills. No driving.

    C5-6 inc., Aug. 2000, approx 8 weeks at TIRR

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    So. California
    My son, c6/7, spent approx. 2 1/2 months in rehab (2004). When he came home, he could cath himself, shave, brush his teeth, wash his face, hold eating utensils, and that's about it! Could not transfer himself, could not wheel up our ramp, etc. It's been 6 years and he is now living on his own (he has caregiver in morning only), but does bed time stuff by himself. He's come a long way and whatever he has accomplished, it's been his own doing.

  4. #4
    Senior Member 0xSquidy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Barcelona (Spain)
    T12 complete, i had to stay on bed more than usual because of ribcage trauma.
    I learnt more or less the following: dressing up and undressing, shoes, B/B management, sitting back to my wheelchair (in a ridiculous non-practical way that i've already changed), personal hygiene and negotiating curbs.
    I prefered to learn on my way at home and in the real life so i quit one week after i was released to sleep at home. No better place to learn and no better nurses than the people who love me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Virginia Beach, Va
    Quote Originally Posted by ThinkerGirl View Post

    1978, before I was released I had to be capable of the following:
    same as your list, except swimming, they had a pool, i just never did it.
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
    Ronald Reagan

  6. #6
    In 1956, my list was the same except for swimming and driving. Kessler did not have a pool. Automatic transmissions just started to become popular and handcontrols were still pretty primitive then.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @

    See my personal webpage @

  7. #7
    Senior Member khmorgan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    South Florida
    In 1966 when I left Spain Rehab in Birmingham, AL, they must have had a similar check-list, but it was a bit of a joke.

    I could push my chair, transfer into and out of bed. But, I was given only one opportunity to undress and dress.

    Basically, I wanted to get back into high school with my class, and they must have thought that was my best option, so they cut me loose in time for summer school.

    I learned almost everything I know after I left rehab. I was there about 4 months.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    2005, T 7-8 para,

    basic care, including, in/out of bed, chair, shower
    dressing/undressing - shoes on/off
    personal hygiene
    bowel/bladder management
    skin care
    wheeling - including up/down steep ramps/inclines, opening doors, no curbs
    transferring in/out of vehicle ... with help, just enough to get me home basically

    No housekeeping skills, a little cooking although this was treated as a fun activity to kill time on Weds afternoons.

    My family was taught how to get me back in the chair after a fall, and what needed to be done to my home to make it accessible.

    Some things, including floor to chair transfer weren;t attempted due to a broken shoulder.

    Using the shower was put on hold for a while due to a pressure sore. This appeared to be a key item to allow my rehab stay to be extended twice. I wasn;t going to be sent home until I was able to do this.
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

  9. #9
    I am really appreciative of the input so far! Thank you all. Please keep it coming. This is very helpful.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    I did rehab at one of the Model SCI Centers here in CA. My stay kept getting extended due to fun stuff like MRSA I got thru my trach since they wouldn't take it out...they did the day before I left since I threatened to pull it and leave it in the parking lot Anyway since my total stay was 4 months I learned most things and was quite independent, except as a C7-T1 I needed helpt to cath but could get dressed, transfer, never learned cooking but wasn't interested, was put in the driving program while still in rehab, and since the average stay was 4-6 weeks I spent tons of time in the gym which helped me gain strength and it helped I was and still am an athlete. I live on my own now and it seems I just got hurt, although I just hit the 6 year mark yesterday since my rollover accident was 3/4/ how time flies!

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