I was admitted to the spinal unit in September 2006 which was terrifying for and daunting not knowing what the outcome of my rehab would be. I was lucky my immediate family lived locally only a twenty minute drive away, therefore have their support daily. My wife came in every morning to support and encourage me through physio and occupational therapy and I seen my kids every afternoon after school, I could not have through this without their support. Other patients that did not live locally their family and loved ones only visited for a couple days at a time once a week or fortnight due to the travel distance and expensive hotels. You could see they missed their family and loved ones and would withdraw from therapies sometimes, and in some cases depression and relationship breakdowns.
Once I was well enough I started going home on weekends to a non-wheelchair accessible house that was not ideal for a quadriplegic. Very testing the first couple times and I would not have continued if I did not have the support for the right mindset. I know other patients did not leave the hospital until they were discharged. Was spending most weekends at home and over the Christmas break spent twenty days at home with the help and support from work cover Queensland.
The time of discharge my transition from spinal unit to home was relatively smooth as I had already been doing it every weekend. However other patients had to go into transitional homes for a couple of weeks and this was very daunting as they had not been going home on weekends, to go from 24-hour nursing support in the spinal unit 6 hours of care a day and family having to do the rest was a very daunting thought for most patients.
However if there was a centre what spinal home help is proposing it would firstly provide affordable accommodation for the families to stay while a love ones are in the spinal unit and secondly it would provide a safe modified unit that all spinal patients would have access to for weekends and short periods to get used life in the community again. And lastly both family and patients would have the support of spinal home help staff and mentors for any information or just someone to talk to that is already travel this road