05 | SCI in Older Persons

Aging with SCI

General Introduction

More and more spinal cord injuries (SCI) are occuring in older persons. With the effectiveness of SCI interventions, the increased utilisation of preventative care and specialised treatment centres and people living longer in general, the life expectancy of persons with SCI has increased dramatically over the past decades.

Read more: General Introduction

Mr. Meier's Story

I felt relatively healthy before the aneurysm and the spinal cord injury. I didn’t have any sense of a problem that would require an operation, so I was quite surprised when it came up. There was no discomfort; I wasn’t disabled. I did get a little tired while working. Of course, I thought this was just my age.

Mr. Meier

Read more: Mr. Meier's Story

Assessment

The Rehab-Cycle® of Mr. Meier began in July 2007 with an assessment of functioning from both a health professional perspective as well as Mr. Meier’s own perceptions and experiences.

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Evaluation

I didn’t achieve as much as I wanted to. I still can’t walk!

Mr. Meier at the end of his Rehab-Cycle®

Despite the complications that arose, Mr. Meier was able to make progress in his Rehab-Cycle®, achieving two of his three cycle goals: mobility and general health status. This was clearly seen during the evaluation phase.

Read more: Evaluation

Discussion

Spinal cord injury (SCI) has a devastating and traumatic impact on all those it affects. An older person with SCI can present unique challenges within a rehabilitation setting. These persons bring a variety of age-related problems as well as resources that can greatly influence the rehabilitation process. Mr. Meier’s case is a good illustration of rehabilitation in older persons with SCI.

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Literature

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