Carrie Callahan, President and Co-Founder of Empower Spinal Cord Injury, Empower SCI focuses on teaching people how to get back to living life after a spinal cord injury, and not merely just surviving. Carrie shares examples of how the program educates individuals to get back to living life post-injury.
“...We are so focused on survival, that we never quite get around to teaching someone how to get back to living.”
Focus On Independence
“Nothing compares to the comforts of one’s home, but nothing fosters change more than being out of that comfort environment,” says Carrie. Empower SCI provides a home environment which overs 24-hour assistance with every staff member trained and focused on promoting independence during every moment of the day.
Participants not only work on independent living skills, but this set-up provides an opportunity to be more autonomous in daily living through independent direction of care.
Select Concrete Goals
Carrie states one to two years after an SCI gives the individual time to cope with life post-injury. During this time a person can reflect on what they would like to work towards to become more independent. At Empower SCI, occupational/physical therapists work with participants in selecting 2-3 goals. They focus on these goals during one-on-one sessions as well as during real-time activities of daily living.
“The positive energy that (this program) creates is contagious and can be described in no other way than Empower Love…”
Peer Mentors And Recreational Activities
One way to get back to living life post-injury is to build a connection with someone who has been through similar situations. This can be done through peer mentorship, like the program at Empower SCI. Participants are involved in one-on-one and group rehabilitation sessions.
There is also nothing like igniting a new passion to encourage someone to get back to living. Empower SCI suggests for people to get involved in sports and recreational activities like kayaking, rugby, racing, and yoga to name a few.
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