Taking care of a quadriplegic parent or other family fellow member at home may be physically and in an emotional manner challenging. Quadriplegia, from time to time called tetraplegia, is paralysis of both legs and both arms. Quadriplegia and paraplegia are most ofttimes caused by spinal cord injuries but may also be caused by nerve sicknesses such as multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Many humans may find it difficult to handle this type of physical disability. But, for those who want to try it, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
On the Physical Side:
The physical aspect of caring for a quadriplegic person is the obvious. The patient will have to be lifted and rolled over so he is not lying on the same body parts for too long a period. The importance of this is to prevent bedsores, or at least keep them to a minimum. These sores, if not treated properly, may become ulcerated and dangerous. And, he ought to be lifted and rolled over to bathe, and sat up to eat. Be sure you have a hospital bed for the patient; it will make your life a little more comfortable and his a little more comfortable.
Along with this, the patient will sporadically need to be lifted into a wheelchair to modify the bed or for other occasions that may arise. For a male caregiver this may not be as difficult as it will be for a female caregiver. A technique to use is:
1. Make sure the wheelchair is right next to you with sufficient clearance to swing the patient into it, and make sure the wheels are locked
Having neck and leg braces would be a good idea.
While I am not a professional caregiver, this is the technique my sister and I used for our mother who was quadriplegic for a number of years from Multiple Sclerosis. But, please check with your doctor before administering any type of care. I found it very interesting when researching quadriplegia and care giving that there isn’t any data on how-tos for sure necessary duties as a caregiver–at least none that I could find.
If you are taking care of someone with paraplegia or quadriplegia you must have the patient beneath the care of a qualified specialist. This specialist will surely be competent to provide you with any necessitated selective information on care giving.
On the Emotional Side:
The aroused aspect of being the caregiver for a quadriplegic family fellow member may be overpowering and much more difficult than the physical aspect. To watch a loved one in this condition is heartbreaking and at the same time you need to be both physically and in an emotional manner strong to handle it. It would be a good idea to join a help group of others who are in your situation. It’s always beneficial to learn from those with more experience and coping techniques. Along with this, it may come to the point where you cannot give the patient the care needed; the patient may worsen and be unable to eat and/or have difficultness breathing. At this point, a professional team will be needed.
You may contact one of the following national organizations for more info on paraplegia and quadriplegia:
National Spinal Cord Injury Association
American Spinal Cord Association
Paralyzed Veterans of American
Here are further and added internet sites for info and support:
The National MS Society – http://www.nationalmssociety.org/
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