Chicago is a thriving community with people of various walks of life. The “Windy City” has been successful in providing an inclusive atmosphere for just about anyone, including those who are members of the disabled community.
Often times, it can be difficult for those who have suffered from a life-changing injury to find a close network of new friends who are going through some of the same experiences. Although this may be true, Chicago celebrates everyone no matter their disability. For anyone experiencing life-changing spinal injuries, check out a few tips to be a part of a community just for you.
Background of Back Injuries
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Stats Center at UAB, there has been a drastic change in the causes of spinal cord injury since about eight years ago. These causes range from vehicles, fall, violence, sports activities, and even medical.
Although the causes can vary, statistics show that most of these injuries are to blame for vehicular incidences. Nevertheless, understanding this community comes with knowing what happened and seeking change. An entire community has been subject to a life-changing e accident and making their stories known is a big part of embracing who they are.
Chicago is a wonderful city that offers this community a wide array of support groups for spinal injury. It’s important for family members to encourage the social interaction of support groups. Even if they feel their presence is enough, being a part of something with others who have shared a similar experience is important to this community. A great way to get involved and to show support is to attend events these groups host. See below for a list of a few support groups in the Chicago and Illinois area:
- City of Chicago Disability Services
- City of Chicago HomeMod Program
- Special Needs Chicago, Inc.
- Easy Access Chicago
- Next Steps Chicago
- Spinal Cord Injury Association of Illinois
- Illinois Venters of Independent Living
- Family Support Network of Illinois
- Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association
- Illinois Assistive Technology Program
This life-changing experience will bring about new challenges, but with a helpful support group and additional insight, this process can be a little easier. Take on these tips to ensure you’re doing your part as a supportive family member and friend of the community:
- Consider the rehabilitation process. This will be a time in which you will be working closely with doctors, nurses, and therapists to pay attention and review rehabilitation centers and reviews shared by others.
- Make note of transportation changes. This is a major concern for those with a spinal cord injury and luckily there are many wheel-chair accessible vehicles to assist with the new changes.
- Try to stay mobile. Although getting around is going to be different than before, there are a wide range of wheelchairs and other devices to assist in your mobility.
- Considering a service animal is another great way to receive the additional assistance for those with a spinal injury. Not only can they provide practical help, but they also serve as a great comfort. Be sure to check out ways in which you can the right service animal for your case.
- Don’t ignore any mental health issues. Staying involved in support groups and keeping as active as possible a great way to maintain a healthy mental state of mind. If you notice any signs of mental health issues, be sure to communication to friends, family, and most especially your doctor.
There are many ways to show support and play a part in this community. Embracing those who have experienced this life-changing injury is a great way to let others in the Chicago area know that you have their back. Be sure to check out more ongoing and upcoming support groups and events in the area here.