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Thread: Next Steps

  1. #1
    Senior Member wheeliecoach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    East Haven, CT

    Next Steps

    Hi guys-

    My sister-in-law is friends with a woman whose son sustained a spinal cord injury while on the job. I believe it is a C5/6 injury. He is currently at the rehab hospital and due to be discharged on 12/10. The family home is a raised ranch and they are waiting for worker's comp to start on the task of making the home more accessible. In the meantime there is no where he can go unless he goes to a nursing home (which we all know is not ideal). I told her I would ask you guys what you all did when it was time for discharge...where did you go? Anywhere besides home and a nursing home? Any ideas would be great. Thanks!
    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing's going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss

  2. #2
    Options might include:
    • Making a ground floor room into a bedroom (den, family room, living room) temporarily by installing a hospital bed and portable screen.
    • Getting an accessible apartment temporarily (with a family member).
    • Live temporarily with another family member who has a more accessible home.
    • Be discharged to the existing home and carried into it by ambulance drivers, then stay in that room until modifications are completed (I saw this done with low income clients living in the projects with broken elevators when I was in grad school in Chicago). Certainly not ideal, but better than a nursing home.
    Until the bathroom is accessible, he may need to use a bedside commode and take sponge baths. No one died yet because of having to do this.

    The WC case manager should be helping with all of this and expediting the home modifications. If they are not doing their job, the family needs to call the person's supervisor and go up the ladder until they find someone who will get it done. Should have been addressed as soon as the injury occured, not held up until rehab was done. I hope he has a WC attorney already, and is not just depending on the WC company to always have his best interests in mind. Their job is to save money for the carrier as their top priority.


  3. #3
    How many steps up is the "raised ranch house?" He might consider buying a couple portable ramps to get him in and out of the house temporarily. You will always have a use for them. I have a 3 foot and an 8 foot portable ramp that I use to get into homes of our friends. I often have the three foot ramp with me to get up a 4-6 inch threshold in "slab built homes and my dentist's office. Once in the house, he could make due with bed bathing, improvise for hair washing with either a bed hair washing tray or bucket on a low table, and use a commode chair or disposable underpads for in bed bowel programs Other than the bathroom facilities, most ranch style houses (single story) are relatively accessible for sleeping and eating. I would think he could put up with these inconveniences for a few months while work is being done. It would be a lot less expensive this way and who doesn't want to be in their own home, after the accident and rehab experiences.

    Alternatively, he may look around in his community for studio or one bedroom apartments that are wheelchair accessible and available on an month to month rental agreement.

    I am a C6/7 complete quad. Back in the day, I came home for a month, still in a halo, then went back to the hospital to complete rehab. We used 2x4 lumber to raise our modern slab bed and our dining room table. I would lie across the bed with my head over a bucket and my wife washed my hair. We did bed baths and in bed bowel programs. We survived it and I was sooooo glad to be in my own home.

    All the best,

  4. #4
    Senior Member fishin'guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Seattle area Wash state
    I was lucky???? The house we bought 23 yrs prior, we bought because I was having a hell of a time with infections in my lower legs, comp from lupus.Doc and I even talked about amputation. Well they got better and we had a nice rambler with very little steps. However, little steps can become a big problem as we well know.Some friends got together and built a ramp,on the porch and a yr later son made one out back so I could go out back. Other than taht, just moved the furniture and I rip thru the house.
    Good luck with the house, hope everything works out.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Galloway, Ohio
    Our house has been a true work in progress - two story also. Initially my husband built a ramp on the front and then we converted our living room into a bedroom just so we could get Sarah home with us. Did not work well at the time since we had not closed it off at all for privacy and/or noise. Then, we put in a stair lift and put her back in her bedroom upstairs for a few months. I hated that - I felt that she was seperated from the rest of our family.

    Finally, we have closed off our dining room and living room and made her a bedroom and living space for her and her friends - also now gives her more privacy. My husband built a wall insert between the kitchen and dining room that does not ruin the arch doorway and then put a door at the living room entrance. It looks nice and she has her own space - plus, these two rooms were not used by our family very much at all. Right now, it works well for Sarah. Of course in the future, she wants to be on her own.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    My renovations were still in progress when I came home, and I had a bed in the living room for a couple of months. I remember having my daughter stand "guard duty" a few times at the folding screen, as I wasn't sure the contractors would realize why it was there,
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

  7. #7
    Senior Member McDuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Dallas area, Tx
    We gutted a guest bedroom and I "lived" in that room for weeks while the house was remodeled. It was certainly not ideal, listening to all the banging all day was enough to drive me nuts. But in a way it was good too, it was my "cocoon" in the strange new world I now had to live in.

    A hospital bed, bedside commode and sponge baths were enough at the time. I even had home health(Nurse/PT/OT) come visit and do their thing in that room. Sure felt good to move back into the master, even better when contractors were completely out of my house.
    "a T10, who'd Rather be ridin'; than rollin'"

  8. #8
    Senior Member wheeliecoach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    East Haven, CT
    Thanks guys...I will pass on the was so long ago when my husband came home from rehab (22 years) and I never went due to my progressive disease, so this certainly helps.
    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing's going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss

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