Spinal injury care at home

The nature of spinal cord injury means that, for many people, it is a sudden and often devastating diagnosis as a result of accident, infection or disease. The lengthy spell in hospital that many people experience can leave a lot of time for reflection, as the person adjusts to their injury, and concerns about how they will manage in the long-term.

At ENA Care Group, we’ve been providing spinal injury care since 1994, with a team of highly-experienced live-in carers, supported by registered nurses and a clinically-led team, ready to assist any person to return home safely and rebuild their life anew. We aim to make living with a spinal injury something that a person can do positively and with all the support they need to face new challenges.
Spinal injury care

What is spinal injury?

Spinal injury is when the spinal cord, a thick bundle of nerves connected to the brain, becomes damaged, so the brain can no longer communicate as effectively with the the person’s body. A spinal injury may be referred to as incomplete, because the person still has some functionality and/or sensation below their injury, or complete, because functionality and sensation have been completely lost. Incomplete spinal injuries are becoming more common as medical responses and treatments are refined to care for people with spinal cord damage more appropriately.
Spinal injuries are usually graded by medical professionals depending upon where the spine was damaged. The higher on the spinal cord the injury occurs, the more severe the effects will be. Types of spinal injury include:

  • Tetraplegia – This is the partial or total loss of use and sensation in all four limbs and the torso, as a result of damage to the spinal cord in the person’s neck.
  • Paraplegia – This is the partial or total loss of use and sensation in the lower limbs, as a result of damage to the spinal cord in the person’s back.
  • Triplegia – This is the partial or total loss of use and sensation in three limbs, either both legs and one arm or both arms and one leg. This condition is associated with cerebral palsy care.
There are variations to how much loss of use and sensation a person will experience, and over time some functionality or sensation may return. On average, it is thought that two years is the approximate time it takes for a person to achieve their full post-injury potential.
A person with a spinal injury may develop secondary conditions related to their injury, including pressure ulcers, respiratory problems, chronic pain, urinary tract infections (UTIs), deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and autonomic dysreflexia (AD), a condition whereby there is a sudden and potentially lethal rise in the person’s blood pressure.
Treatment for spinal injury focuses on rehabilitation. At present, there is no cure.

Spinal injury statistics

Leading spinal injury charities estimate that around 2,500 people per year are injured or diagnosed with life-changing spinal cord damage in the UK.
Approximately 50,000 people are believed to be living with spinal cord injuries in the UK.
The most common causes of spinal cord damage are falls, road traffic accidents and sports injuries.
More men experience spinal cord injuries than women, with a ratio of about 2-1.
Men are most at risk of a spinal cord injury between 20-29 years old and 70+, while women are most at risk between 15-19 years old and 60+.

Reasons to consider live-in spinal injury care

After a spinal injury, a person may spend many months as an inpatient, receiving specialist care and rehabilitation before they are able to return home. Depending on the nature of the person’s injury, their home may need significant modifications if they are able to live there again, and most people will need the support of family members or care professionals. Common reasons for people seeking out our live-in spinal injury care include $
$ The person is ready to return home following their initial rehabilitation but they need professional support for the transition to be successful.
$ The person’s family aren’t able to provide the support they need or specialist professional support has been recommended.
$ The person lives alone, needs full-time support and doesn’t want to leave their home.
$ The person and/or their family are struggling to cope without professional support. The person and/or their family may want a long-term live-in care service, or they may prefer to try our respite care service first.
Care customer

Key elements of ENA live-in spinal injury care

We support people with all levels of severity of spinal injury, offering the most appropriate live-in carers who have received specialist training and are overseen by our registered nurses and clinically-led team. As bronze members of the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA), we work alongside the Association to ensure everyone affected by spinal cord injury has the right level of care and support, from first contact and throughout our relationship with them.

We know that experiencing spinal injury is both traumatic and life-changing, and more than anything a person in that position needs to know they can depend upon the physical, practical, emotional and mental health support we provide. To achieve this, our care plans are entirely personalised to the individual and focus on their needs, wishes and goals. They will include any recommendations from the person’s medical team with whom we work with as part of a multidisciplinary approach, and are made in partnership with the client always.

All of the care we offer is underpinned by dignity and respect, and a passion for ensuring we really get to know each client we support. We pride ourselves on working with the person’s family to make sure we can support them with their injury as effectively as possible and our care is also completely flexible, taking into account any improvements the person may make during their rehabilitation, or indeed any complex needs or secondary conditions they may experience that require more extensive support.

The benefits of ENA live-in spinal injury care


Helping the person to achieve their potential

Most people who have experienced spinal injury will have personal expectations of themselves and their rehabilitation. Our live-in carers are there to support those aspirations every step of the way, providing encouragement and motivation where needed, and working side-by-side with them when the going gets tough.

Supporting independence

A return to independence and autonomy is something that is important to the majority of people who experience a spinal injury. ENA live-in carers are fully committed to helping the person live as freely as possible for as long as possible.

Practical help with rehabilitation

From support with an exercise regime, to help getting out and about, our live-in carers are experienced in helping the client to rehabilitate from their spinal injury as effectively as possible. We also work alongside the person’s medical team, such as physiotherapists or district nurses, to keep their rehabilitation on track.

Emotional and mental health support

Whilst a person’s physical symptoms are often the main focus of their spinal injury rehabilitation, our live-in carers are just as aware of the emotional and mental health toll these types of injuries can take. We like to think of ourselves as a shoulder to cry on and a friend to talk to, offering companionship and compassion to all of our clients.

A holistic approach to supporting symptoms and conditions

We are well aware of the risk of secondary conditions for a person who has a spinal injury. Our carers are adept at supporting a clients to avoid or minimise issues like pressure ulcers, UTIs and DVTs, as well as monitoring and acting rapidly if a person shows signs of autonomic dysreflexia (AD). We know AD is a huge concern for people living with a spinal injury, given how quickly it can develop and how severe the consequences can be, which can include stroke and potentially even death. Therefore, we work to understand the person’s autonomic dysreflexia risk-factors, how episodes of AD might be avoided, and formulate a rapid treatment plan should the person develop these symptoms.

Support for more severe spinal injury

Should a person need more intensive support – including digital bowel care and manual evacuation, manual handling, board transfers and/or personal care, or have complex care needs, including PEG feeding and stoma care – we are able to provide the right kind of live-in carer, trained and overseen by our registered nurses and clinically-led team, so they may remain in their home.

Extensive knowledge and experience at your disposal

We are fortunate to have provided spinal injury care for many years, and have accumulated a huge amount of knowledge and experience in that time. All of this is at your disposal should you choose ENA Care Group as your live-in spinal injury care provider.

Contact us to discuss your spinal injury care needs

We are always available to help you understand spinal injury care better, and to discuss the best home care and support options for you and your family. You can call us on 01707 333 700 or email