Springboard to a New Life with a New Body
by Deborah Bebeau, MS, OTR

Home modification can present an overwhelming challenge for people who have compromised mobility, but with the support of therapists and others, it can foster a beneficial outcome.

Imagine, in an instant, almost all facets of your life change. How you eat, sleep, urinate, have sex, move, and even breathe has been altered. This is what can happen, abruptly and unexpectedly, when someone has a traumatic spinal cord injury. These bodily changes bring about a myriad of challenges that often require intensive training and assistive technologies for compensation. How do you hold a spoon if your hand can not grasp it? How do you roll over in bed if your abdominal muscles no longer contract? How do you move about in your community if your legs do not work? The deluge of questions are overwhelming to the newly injured person. These questions are answered daily by occupational therapists who work with people who have sustained new spinal cord injuries. Answers unfold over time in rehabilitation.