Caring for someone with a spinal injury

  • Posted

Last week (5 – 11 June) was Carers Week, and people around the country said ‘I care’ in recognition of the millions of unpaid carers in Britain today.

There are many reasons someone might need care. These include old age, conditions such as dementia or multiple sclerosis, diseases such as cancer, or following a serious accident, for example, involving  spinal injuries.

Care after a spinal injury

Around 50,000 people in Britain live with a spinal cord injury, and approximately 2,500 new spinal injuries are diagnosed every year.

Some spinal injuries are relatively minor, and those affected either fully recover or need minimal changes to their day to day life. However, serious spinal injuries are life changing. People with spinal cord injuries can face issues including paralysis, incontinence, and loss of speech and the ability to breath without help.

Many people with spinal injuries require extra care and support, whether from professional paid carers or from friends and family, who often devote many hours on an unpaid basis.

Carers provide essential help with day-to-day tasks, from getting washed and dressed, to going to the toilet, taking medication, exercising and travelling. Their support means that people with spinal injuries can live their lives with as few restrictions and difficulties as possible.

Support for spinal injury carers

However, there are concerns that carers themselves do not always feel able to ask for support when they need it. Some carers might not be aware of the resources they are entitled to access. This includes:

  • Carer’s Allowance – A government support payment for those who spend 35 or more hours per week caring for someone.
  • Respite care – This can be accessed through local councils or charities and is aimed at helping carers to take a break from caring, whether just for a couple of hours at a time or for longer periods.
  • Support for young carers – There are growing numbers of young carers’ groups, and resources and signposting from charities like the Carers Trust mean that young carers can access extra support with things like balancing caring with school.

The Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) has a wealth of resources for people with spinal cord injury and their carers.

This includes local support coordinators and clinical specialists, care planning, and mental health support such as counselling. SIA also offer advice on other support organisations including law firms such as Novum Law. We are proud to be a SIA Business Member, working closely with this vital charity  to ensure that people with spinal injuries and their carers can live fulfilled and independent lives.

Compensation after a spinal injury

At Novum Law we help people make compensation claims following injuries from medical negligence or accidents that were not their fault. We support injured people and their loved ones and understand the many caring responsibilities that families and friends take on after a catastrophic spinal injury.

This is included in any compensation you might be able to claim, so the cost of your care, even if this is care provided by family members or friends, is considered.

Tom Hartigan is an expert personal injury solicitor specialising in spinal cord injury compensation claims. He says:

“Carers Week last week prompted us to think about the question: who cares for the carers?

“It’s important that carers can access the right resources that prevent them from having to struggle, financially or otherwise. Carers – and those they care for – should not face being sidelined by society because they have not been given proper support.

“If you know someone with caring responsibilities, don’t forget to check in with them – it could make all the difference.”

If you or a loved one has sustained a spinal injury that was not your fault, you might be able to claim compensation. Our supportive, compassionate team can help you on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis, and has a strong track record of success, even in complicated cases that other firms turn down.

For a free, no obligation chat with one of our legal experts, call our Freephone on 0800 884 0777, email or complete our online enquiry form.

Online Now
Hi! A real person is available 24/7 at no obligation.
Live Chat is secure free and easy. Start whenever you are ready.
To use this Chat window, first you need to accept our Cookie Policy; we use analytics and third-party cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website.
Are you happy to give your consent?
Live Chat Start Now

To use this Chat, first you need to accept our Cookie Policy; we use analytics and third-party cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website.
Are you happy to give your consent?

Chat invite