Central PA SCI Networking

Sue Devert
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Caring for a Person with SCI

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When did you start working with someone with SCI?
About a year ago.
 
What were your first thoughts when you met the person?
She was younger than I thought.  I could tell she was intelligent and had a good attitude.  She handles her disability very well. 
 
What is some of the personal care that you provide?
Cath care, bladder irrigation, bowel care, showering, dressing,etc.
 
What is the most difficult part?
Getting her into the shower chair without being crooked. 
 
What part gives you the most enjoyment?
We have fun going through the daily routine, talking, laughing.  It feels good to know that she needs me to start her day.  I can do the things for her that she used to do independently and so she can still live the life that she wants. 
 
Describe your typical day.
6:30 wake her up!
basic personal care, shower, etc.
dressing, breakfast
packing up supplies for school
9:30 I drive her to work
then housework, organizing,...
2:00 back to pick her up at work
before I leave for the day, I make sure she has everything in reach, so she can do what she needs to.
 
What have you learned about SCI?
She's always cold! :)  Skin care is very important.  Proper alignment in the wheelchair is crucial.  It is neat the way her body will tell her what she needs, like when she gets "goosebumps" when she needs to pee. 
 
Any advice to other caregivers?
Just keep smiling!   Always remember that your SCI client needs you.  You are their hands, legs, etc. to help them start each day and encourage them to get the most out of each day!