Your first few days at St. Luke’s will focus on evaluations by all your caregivers. This will help you and your team to identify areas of strength and challenge, and be an opportunity to define what your goals are for your care.
Most patients have three hours of therapy per day, at least five days per week, though this can change a little from person to person. Therapists work with you where you are to move towards your goals. If you are ever feeling sick or tired, let your therapist know so that they can modify the session goals to allow you to participate at whatever level you can tolerate.
We encourage friends and family to attend and participate in therapy sessions, and also try to also make videos or provide handouts so that family can see the progress you’re making and the support you need.
A significant amount of recovery is done within the first six months to a year after a spinal cord injury. There are common symptoms associated with where in the spinal cord the injury occurs, but everyone is affected a little different. As such, it is most important to be aware of how the spinal cord injury has uniquely affected you, and only ever compare you to yourself over the course of recovery (no two recoveries are alike).
Providing the “just-right challenge”
Recovery after a spinal cord injury is best when you are being challenged to complete tasks that you can successfully complete. When activities are too easy or too hard, we don’t get the same benefit.
Our therapists specialize in determining what the “just-right” challenge is for you – where you are challenged, but you can succeed at the activity. This promotes the building of new connections in the spinal cord, and also builds your confidence. We work with your and your family to find challenges that are meaningful for you, and make sure to take how you are feeling into account every day.
Your rehabilitation team will meet weekly to discuss discharge planning. These discussions will include:
- Determining your estimated discharge date
- Thinking about where you will go after discharge and making this as safe as possible
- Anticipating your need for help from family and caregivers
- Recommendations for follow-up therapies and medical care
- Recommendations for community services (meal delivery, caregiver services, transportation)
- Team collaboration to solve any barriers to you returning home safely
When it’s your time to leave St. Luke’s, we will determine what therapies you would still benefit from and arrange continued services. These follow up services may include:
- Outpatient therapies
- Home health therapies
- Home health nursing
- Bath aide
Your rehab doctor will determine what follow up medical appointments are required, and St. Luke’s will schedule them for after discharge.