Independent Living After Spinal Cord Injury | Vibra Rehabilitation Hospital of Denver

Hi, I’m Alexa. And I’m Jaime. We are both occupational therapists at Vibra
Rehab Hospital of Denver. Because April is Occupational Therapy Month,
we are going to take some time to talk to you about living independently after spinal
cord injury. After a spinal cord injury, some activities
that you complete throughout the day may need to be modified to be able to complete them
safely. As occupational therapists, we can help you
figure out ways to be as independent as possible. In the hospital, occupational therapists address
both basic, and instrumental ADLs, or Activities of Daily Living. Basic ADLs include self-care, grooming, bathing
and dressing. Instrumental ADLs are more complex tasks you
do for yourself such as cooking, shopping, or driving and getting around in the community. Instrumental ADLs also include activities
you like to do in your free time. Occupational therapists could educate you
on modifications for your home to make tasks like cooking and doing laundry easier. The kitchen can be modified by moving commonly
used items to countertop level, or by removing the bottom cabinets under the sink to make it wheelchair accessible. We can provide individualized strategies and
modifications specific to each person’s situation. Occupational therapists can help people with
spinal cord injury navigate the community. We can help provide suggestions, such as calling
ahead to be sure that the restaurant you want to eat at is wheelchair accessible. We can give you tips for using public transit,
and even refer you to a driving specialist. Occupational therapists help people get back
to the job of living.

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