Ageing and SCI

Ageing and SCI

Know your risks

Ageing is something that everyone will experience but for people with spinal cord injury (SCI) they have some additional health and lifestyle issues to consider. The life expectancy of people with a spinal cord injury in the last 20 years has improved greatly and it is a good advice for people with a spinal cord injury of any age to start thinking about the wear and tear and the general effects that a spinal cord injury is going to have on their lives and how changes to lifestyle and health practices will contribute to a long, happy and healthy life.

As you age with a SCI you may experience:

  • Shoulder and upper limb pain
  • More difficulty transferring
  • Reduced mobility – either in your wheelchair or walking
  • Trouble with daily care tasks
  • Skin problems and pressure sores
  • Weight gain
  • Other pain

What can you do to age well over the years?

  • Get regular health check-ups
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and exercising to maintain weight.
  • Get involved in social activities to gain friendships and lessen isolation
  • Reassess your activities. If you are finding a task harder to do, review the way you do it and consider changing something to make things easier
  • Listen to your body
  • Have a philosophical but realistic approach to ageing and accept that living life to the full with a spinal cord injury is a fine balance.
  • Plan your future
  • Indulge your passions