OccupationalTherapy.com Phone: 866-782-9924


How Do Caregivers Support Individuals With Spinal Cord Injuries, and What Challenges Do They Encounter?

Alaena McCool, MS, OTR/L, CPAM

May 1, 2024

Share:

Question

How do caregivers support individuals with spinal cord injuries, and what challenges do they encounter?

 

Answer

Caregivers play a pivotal role in the well-being and recovery journey of individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCI). In the United States, an astounding 65 million individuals undertake the responsibility of providing informal care to those with chronic illnesses or disabilities, underscoring the widespread significance of caregiving. Despite their indispensable contributions, caregivers of individuals with SCI face unique and formidable challenges. They are at an elevated risk of experiencing physical strain from tasks like lifting and assisting with mobility, as well as mental and emotional stress stemming from the demanding nature of caregiving duties. Additionally, the social isolation often accompanying caregiving can further compound these challenges. Research suggests that this heightened burden can detrimentally impact caregivers' health-related quality of life and overall well-being. Therefore, understanding and addressing the specific needs and challenges faced by caregivers of individuals with SCI is essential for promoting both their own health and the recovery outcomes of those they care for. (References: Juengst et al., 2019; Keihanian et al., 2022; Uhm et al., 2023)

 

This Ask the Expert is an edited excerpt from the course Caregiving For The Spinal Cord Injury Patientby Alaena McCool, MS, OTR/L, CPAM.


alaena mccool

Alaena McCool, MS, OTR/L, CPAM

Alaena McCool, MS, OTR/L, CPAM, is a practicing OT with over 6 years of experience and is currently an OT III at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury (ICSCI) at Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI). She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2011 with a BA in Communication Sciences and from New York University in 2015 with her Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy. She has spoken at both local and national conferences with an area of interest and clinical specialty in neurological recovery of the upper extremities in both adults and pediatrics.


Related Courses

Caregiving For The Spinal Cord Injury Patient
Presented by Alaena McCool, MS, OTR/L, CPAM
Video

Presenter

Alaena McCool, MS, OTR/L, CPAM
Course: #6223Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'The information presented was thorough, clear, and easy to grasp'   Read Reviews
This course will explore how to identify caregiver challenges, as well as resources and creative problem-solving solutions available for caregivers and patients with spinal cord injuries. Case studies will be discussed at the end of the course to engage providers to think critically and ask questions to advance our treatment plans.

Interdisciplinary Approach To Stroke Rehabilitation: Acute Care And Inpatient Rehabilitation Phase
Presented by Alaena McCool, MS, OTR/L, CPAM, Katherine George, PT, DPT
Video

Presenters

Alaena McCool, MS, OTR/L, CPAMKatherine George, PT, DPT
Course: #5790Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'good insight into team collaberation'   Read Reviews
The unique collaboration and relationship between physical and occupational therapists throughout the evaluation and treatment of acute, subacute, and chronic stroke diagnoses will be analyzed in this two-part series. Part one will distinguish important stroke definitions used within the medical field and compare and contrast the differences between the acute and inpatient rehabilitation phases.

Interdisciplinary Approach To Stroke Rehabilitation: Outpatient, Home Health, And Community Rehabilitation Phase
Presented by Alaena McCool, MS, OTR/L, CPAM, Katherine George, PT, DPT
Video

Presenters

Alaena McCool, MS, OTR/L, CPAMKatherine George, PT, DPT
Course: #5792Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'Fantastic information for new therapists to understand interdisciplinary care for stroke patients'   Read Reviews
The unique relationship between the occupational and physical therapist when treating an acute, subacute, or chronic stroke diagnosis will be distinguished in this two-part series. Part two will focus on the subacute and chronic stroke, differentiating the home, outpatient, and community phases of rehabilitation, as well as examining the evaluation, evidence, and interventions in each setting to optimize independence for the patient.

Spinal Cord Injury: Upper Extremity Assessment and Intervention
Presented by Alaena McCool, MS, OTR/L, CPAM
Video

Presenter

Alaena McCool, MS, OTR/L, CPAM
Course: #5335Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'Case study examples and PowerPoint Presentation were helpful'   Read Reviews
This course discusses current, reliable, and standardized assessments and evidence-based interventions for the upper extremity within the spinal cord injury population. It focuses on the shoulder, elbow, and hand. It also discusses current research trends, new ways to identify, intervene, and modify approaches when treating the upper extremities. It will end with case study examples.

Disability Inclusion: What Healthcare Providers Need To Know
Presented by Kathryn Sorensen, OTD, OTR/L, ADAC
Video

Presenter

Kathryn Sorensen, OTD, OTR/L, ADAC
Course: #5632Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'Speaker was entertaining and informative'   Read Reviews
As a person with a disability and an occupational therapist, I have a unique perspective of living in two worlds. In this course, I will share my personal experience and things I wish healthcare providers knew and understood about living with a disability.

Our site uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.